78 Chifley to Attlee

Cablegram 68 CANBERRA, 8 February 1946, 10 p.m.

IMMEDIATE TOP SECRET & PERSONAL

Reference your No. 42. [1]

1. I would thank you for kind invitation to meet yourself and other British Commonwealth Prime Ministers in London some time in May before opening of Paris Peace Conference.

2. Commonwealth Parliament is meeting on 6th March, after five months recess, and I would hope arranging adjournment at Easter for short period to enable me visit London. Such visit would only be possible immediately following Easter. It is not my intention attend Peace Conference at Paris, where Commonwealth will be represented by Dr. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs. I would have to return to Australia immediately after Conference of Prime Ministers.

3. As particular subject you wish discuss is situation in Pacific, I would consider it necessary for Minister for External Affairs be present. Understand that United Kingdom Ministers other than the Prime Minister regularly attended Conference of Prime Ministers in 944. Chifley. [2]

1 Document 67.

2 Attlee replied on 13 February, welcoming the proposal that Evatt accompany Chifley. The domestic preoccupations of the Dominion leaders made it impossible for them all to be in London together.

At Chifley's suggestion the discussions took the form of a series of consultations. Chifley, Evatt and Nash (representing Fraser) attended the initial discussions; Smuts arrived on 28 April, and Mackenzie King on 20 May. Chifley left London on 6 May from which time Evatt represented Australia.

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