42 Full Cabinet Submission by Curtin

Agendum 804 CANBERRA, 23 February 1945

SECRET

INTERNATIONAL CIVIL AVIATION CONFERENCE, CHICAGO 1944 The Minister for Air and Civil Aviation, who was Chairman of the Australian Delegation to the International Civil Aviation Conference held at Chicago, 1st November - 7th December, 1944, [1] has presented to me his Report, a copy of which is attached. [2]

The Minister for Air and Civil Aviation has recommended (see page 8 of the Report):-

(a) that the Government approve of his action in signing the Interim Agreement on International Civil Aviation on behalf of the Government of Australia; and (b) that the Australian Minister at Washington be authorised to sign on behalf of the Government the International Air Services Transit Agreement.

The Interim Agreement referred to in (a) is described briefly in paragraphs 10-17 of the Report. The Interim Agreement, which will apply for a period not exceeding three years, contains most of the provisions of the permanent Convention on International Civil Aviation (discussed in paragraphs 19-35 and 39-44 of the Report, and also in the Appendix), which will be submitted at a later stage for ratification by the Government and which will take the place of existing Conventions.

The International Air Services Transit Agreement confers upon signatory States what are known as the first two freedoms of the air [3] (see paragraphs 23 and 46 of the Report).

A copy of the International Air Services Transit Agreement is attached. [4]

JOHN CURTIN Prime Minister

1 See Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. VII, in particular Documents 364 and 367.

2 Not published.

3 i.e. the right to fly across territory without landing and the right to land for non-traffic purposes.

4 The recommendations were approved by Full Cabinet on 26 February. The Interim Agreement on International Civil Aviation had been signed 'ad referendum' by Drakeford on 7 December 1944 and the Commonwealth Govt formally notified its acceptance to the U.S. State Department on 19 May. The International Air Services Transit Agreement was signed 'ad referendum' by Eggleston on 4 July and notification of its acceptance by the Commonwealth Govt was forwarded to the U.S.

State Department on 25 August. The Interim Agreement on International Civil Aviation became effective on 6 June, The Provisional' International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO) which was established at Montreal by the signatory States, consisted of an Interim Assembly and an Interim Council of which Australia was a member. Australia's representative, A. R. McComb of the Dept of Civil Aviation, was appointed permanent Chairman of the Air Navigation Committee.

[AA:A2700, vol. 14, ii]