255 Chifley to Attlee

Cablegram 404 CANBERRA, 28 November 1946

IMMEDIATE TOP SECRET

Reference your cablegrams D.1018 [1] and 363 [2] and further to my 390. [3] Question of withdrawal of the United Kingdom Brigade from B.C.O.F. has been considered by Cabinet [4] and in view of your military manpower difficulties as indicated in your cablegrams the Australian Government raises no objection to your proposals.

2. As stated in my cablegram 390 it will be necessary to take up later with the Governments concerned the effect of the withdrawal on the financial and other commitments of the Governments participating in the B.C.O.F. arrangement. These aspects will require detailed consideration in the first instance by J.C.O.S.A.

but as your proposals have not yet been referred to the Government of India, which is represented on J.C.O.S.A. this action will not be taken until receipt of further advice from you.

3. It is assumed that you will inform me in due course of the result of the discussions with the United States Authorities in order that we may seek the formal approval of the Government of the United States in accordance with the MacArthur-Northcott agreement. As stated in my cablegram 390, it will be necessary for the Commander-in-Chief, B.C.O.F. to consult S.C.A.P. on the consequential effect of the reduction of the strength of the B.C.O.F. on the obligations accepted by the British Commonwealth in the Allied occupation of Japan. [5]

1 Document 209.

2 See Document 231, note 2.

3 Document 231.

4 On 26 November; Agendum 1069G.

5 Attlee advised Chifley on 2 December (Cablegram 378) that as the Indian Govt had been informed, the matter could now be referred to JCOSA and that discussions with U.S. authorities had been deferred pending receipt of views of the N.Z. and Indian Govts.

[AA:A3196, 1946, 0.22433/34]