166 Chifley to Attlee

Cablegram 197 CANBERRA, 26 July 1947, 11.15 a.m.


Thanks your No. 155. [1] Messages from my Government will have kept you fully and frankly informed of our very great difficulties here. You will see that, in spite of these difficulties, we have refrained from any action pending further advice from you, and we shall now await your further comments based on United States response.

2. I wish to emphasise, however, the embarrassment caused us not only in Australia but throughout the area concerned by not being able to declare our policy or intimate attempts we might be making to assist in settlement of dispute in which we are vitally involved. It would be appreciated, therefore, if you could take all steps to have reply from United States expedited and inform us of that reply and your reactions to it with the least possible delay.

3. It would greatly assist us in refraining from acting in the way we have suggested if you could give me a firm assurance that, in event of any attempted mediation or arbitration by United Kingdom and United States, Australia would be associated as full third party. Otherwise, explanations may be required of our failure to take any action either in relation to Security Council or in mediation in a matter so closely associated with Australian security and interests. You will be aware that we have received direct appeal from Indonesian representative [2] and our position in South East Asia will be intolerable if we ignore it. Questions of prestige are not involved: it is a question of vital security interests which United States Government should appreciate.

1 Document 164.

2 See Document 144.

[AA:A1838/274, 854/10/4, i]