45 Australian Government to Fraser

Cablegram 189 CANBERRA, 31 July 1946

SECRET

SOUTH SEAS COMMISSION

United States Secretary of State has replied to our aide memoire of July 3rd prepared with assistance of your Minister in Washington and forwarded by Australian Legation on July 3rd. State Department communication states that United States will be pleased to accept invitation to participate in Conference with stipulation that (a) Dutch New Guinea be included in terms of reference and Netherlands Government invited and (b) Conference postponed until after next General Assembly meeting.

2. Note concludes that United States Government understands Commission:-

(a) is to be advisory.

(b) concerned with 'promotion of native welfare and economic development'.

(c) not 'empowered to deal in any way with political matters or question of Defence or Security'.

(d) to be limited in its territorial scope 'to islands south of the equator which lie north and north-east of Australia'.

3. We are prepared to instruct our Washington Embassy to advise the State Department informally and in association with your Legation that we accept their conditions. [1] If you are in agreement with this Dr. Evatt would be glad, in association with your representative [at] the Peace Conference, to issue formal invitations in all cases to the appropriate foreign Ministers now in Paris.

4. It is proposed that invitations would- (a) leave it to the governments to decide status of representation;

(b) suggest a date in mid-November for the convening of the Conference, possibly November 13;

(c) in view of further delay involved in postponement from the date previously agreed between us, to make clear that conference would not be merely explanatory [2] but for purpose of establishing Commission.

5. We feel that we should be represented by a Minister at such a constitutive Conference, and would hope that alteration in date may also make possible the attendance of a New Zealand Minister.

We shall of course look for a continuance of the close consultation and exchange of views between our two Governments and the United Kingdom Government on all aspects of the proposed Commission's work.

6. We should be glad to have your views at earliest possible moment on development outlined above and on proposals in paragraphs 3, 4 and 5. If you are agreeable to a Conference in November, we shall confirm the precise date after further investigations here as to practicability of November 13.

1 In fact, Oldham in Washington had already been instructed to tell the State Department on an informal basis that Australia found U.S. stipulations acceptable.

2 Presumably 'explanatory' should have read 'exploratory'.

[AA:A1067, ER46/2/7]