62 Curtin to Cranborne

Cablegram 55 [1] CANBERRA, 3 March 1944

MOST SECRET

Reference No. 48. [2]

1. Your advice confirming that the conference is for a personal exchange of views between Prime Ministers is noted.

2. In regard to preparatory work on matters to be discussed, the broad situation, as I see it, is that the Prime Ministers will meet to review the general war situation, war policy and post-war problems.

3. No comment is called for on the discussion of war matters.

4. In the case of post-war problems, it would appear that the approach will be to discuss broad principles on certain main matters of common interest and the method of approach to the best way of deciding them and filling in the details. In view of their importance, the ultimate decisions will, no doubt, have to be taken by or in consultation with the Governments represented at- the conference. Prime Ministers will be unable to stay in London sufficiently long to bring all these questions to ultimate finality, as their development will probably require time and careful study. The best means of following up such matters in greater detail will, no doubt, become apparent at the conference and this may probably entail a series of later conferences by Ministers responsible for each particular phase of policy. Such an arrangement would be much more convenient and feasible than the simultaneous absence from their country of a number of Ministers with the necessary advisers, in view of the disabilities this would mean in the direction of the war effort. I would appreciate your early observations and the details promised about the agenda, as the further information will have an important bearing on the size of my party.

CURTIN

1 Repeated to the Canadian, South African and N.Z. Prime Ministers as nos 3, 15 and 40, respectively.

2 Cranborne's cablegram 48, dispatched 14 February, is on file AA:

A5954, box 646.

[AA:A5954, BOX 646]