258 Evatt to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram E53 LONDON, 20 May 1946, 8.20 p.m.

SECRET

Reference my immediately preceding telegram. [1] The following is the text. Begins.

Since our 11th meeting [2] at which there was general agreement with our proposals for a South Seas Commission, there have been some discussions between representatives of the Colonial Office, the Foreign Office, and the Dominions Office, and Australia and New Zealand Officials.

The following procedure has been suggested.

(a) A conference to be convened by Australia and at which the South Seas Commission would be set up.

(b) The conference to be convened in August 1946 at a date suitable to the Governments concerned.

(c) The conference to meet at Canberra.

(d) American, French, Dutch representatives to be invited to the conference if it is found in advance that these invitations will be accepted.

(e) Australia and New Zealand to prepare a provisional Agenda which would be submitted for comment to other Governments concerned. (f) Proposals for consideration at the conference to be in Canberra by July 20th, and Australia to be responsible for the co-ordination and preparation of conference documentation.

These suggestions are acceptable to Mr. Nash and to me. Regarding those to be invited I think it would be wise to include U.S.A. and France in the conference at which the Commission will be constituted as the co-operation of both will be important to the success of the Commission. The Dutch are interested only in relation to Dutch New Guinea and perhaps they would also wish to be invited. I am sending a copy of this letter to Mr. Nash. We both hope that these proposals will be wholly acceptable to you.

Ends.

1 Document 257.

2 See Document 229.

[AA:A1067, ER46/2/7]