55 Chifley and Evatt to Makin

Cablegram UN[D]11 CANBERRA, 26 January 1946


Your 503. [1]

1. We agree in principle to the proposal for a joint Commission.

The terms of reference are, however, too narrow. In our considered view the establishment or use of bases must be related to an overall plan in which their role should be clearly defined. We desire the Commission to have authority to propose or formulate a security arrangement in the Pacific in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations which would cover the principle of reciprocity and joint use of bases as mentioned in my cablegram No.22. [2]

2. We do not favour Washington as the meeting place of the Conference and urge that it be held in the Pacific area with which it is concerned. Considerable strain is being placed on our capacity to provide for appropriate representation abroad at conferences which are of vital importance to Australia. We would urge that it would be very appropriate to hold this one in Australia, where there are already located Service representatives of the United Kingdom, and New Zealand on the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Australia, who would be available with our own Service Staffs for technical advice. The Australian Government would be glad to give welcome to representatives of other nations including relevant United States Political and Military Mission.

3. We suggest the following terms of reference: To examine and report upon- (I) Future Defence arrangements in the Pacific Zone affecting the joint interest of the four Nations;

(II) The future status and use of Pacific Bases including those established or used during the war by any of the four nations;

(III) Any other matters which, in the opinion of any of the four nations, are related to (I) or (II).

1 Document 48.

2 Document 25.

[AA:A6494 TI, SPTS/1/4]