372 Forde to Cranborne

Cablegram 331 [1] CANBERRA, 12 December 1944

SECRET

Your D.1195. [2] The Australian Accredited Representative has already informed you that the Commonwealth Government agreed with the proposal for joint discussions on Defence co-operation, on the basis that such discussions should not prejudice arrangements for subsequent consideration of the wider question of measures for improving the machinery for Empire co-operation which were put forward by Mr. Curtin at the meeting of Prime Ministers. [3] Also that our participation in the discussions on Defence co-operation should be under the general supervision and direction of the Australian Accredited Representative, as we did not favour the matter being referred to a meeting of Service representatives.

2. It is noted that Canada and South Africa do not favour proceeding with your proposal at present and that New Zealand consider the matter should be postponed. It is agreed that there is no alternative to this course.

FORDE

1 Repeated to the Canadian, South African and N.Z. Prime Ministers as nos 27, 253 and 121, respectively.

2 Document 257.

3 See Document 151.

[AA:A5954, BOX 6]