253 Bruce to Curtin

Cablegram 120A LONDON, 22 August 1944, 7.45 p.m.

SECRET

(Addressed to the Prime Minister, Mr. Curtin.)

POST-WAR CIVIL AVIATION

The Dominions Office are cabling you with regard to the present position in connection with the contemplated United Nations Conference and recent discussions with the Americans. [1]

The position appears to be anything but satisfactory and it is difficult to avoid the impression that the United States of America have little enthusiasm for a worthwhile International Convention governing postwar civil aviation but are hoping to pull off bilateral arrangements with individual nations which will ensure to America a dominating position in post-war civil aviation.

In view of this possibility it is essential in my view that the meeting of Empire representatives suggested in Dominions Office telegram D.1080 of 28th July [2] should be held at the earliest possible moment to consider McVey's proposals [3] and formulate our plans. By the formulation of such plans we would place ourselves in a position to meet, should it eventuate, the American threat to dominate post-war air, and at the same time would be arming ourselves to make a more useful contribution in the event of the contemplated United Nations Civil Aviation Conference being held and for your personal information-although it is not quite clear and I have asked to have the point clarified, it seems that the proposal for the tabling of plans (Dominions Office telegram D.1082 of 29th July [4]) has now been abandoned.

BRUCE

1 Cablegram D1185, dispatched 22 August. On file AA:A989, 43/735/832/1, ii.

2 Document 240.

3 See Document 177, note 7.

4 Document 241.

[AA:A989, 43/735/832/1, ii]