62 Dunk and Burton to Watt

Cablegram 136 PARIS, 9 August 1946, 8.30 p.m.

SECRET

Your P114 South Seas Commission. [1] The Minister is prepared under the circumstances for the Conference to be postponed until January. Although he agrees in principle with the Prime Minister's view on invitation he thinks it important that the matter should not drag and suggests that invitations should be issued now without a date being given. Please check with the Prime Minister on this and advise whether he agrees. [2] If so, we will informally test the Dutch on their acceptance of an invitation made then issue a simply worded invitation from here. [3] When the whole matter is finalised you could let the Canberra representatives of the Governments concerned know quite informally of our general views on the date for convening the Conference.

1 Dispatched 5 August, it conveyed Fraser's preference for the conference to be postponed until after a general election to be held in New Zealand in November or December, and also Chifley's doubts about issuing invitations prior to the Australian general election scheduled for 28 September.

2 Cablegram P188 of 22 August conveyed Chifley's support for the suggestion.

3 In cablegram HAG49 of 10 September, Dunk informed Watt that the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs (C. G. W. H. baron van Boetzelaer van Oosterhout) and the Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry (A. M. Snouck Hurgronje) had indicated that the Netherlands would accept such an invitation.

[AA:A1067, ER46/2/7]