338 Burton to Evatt

Cablegram E17 (extract) CANBERRA, 19 September 1947, 4.45 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET PERSONAL

2. In view of doubts on effectiveness of others suggested, and your strong preference for Kirby, which I share, I have asked the Prime Minister to reconsider this decision. [1] Ashley is away and is concerned not to delay on stevedoring [2], but Prime Minister is agreeable and I am fairly sure he will convince Ashley. If so, an immediate announcement will be made. Will advise. A date for a first meeting should now be set. Could you suggest to the United States, when following matter up, that Three should meet at Singapore on 1st October, as any later will make use of Kirby impossible? I am assuming a meeting lasting about two weeks followed up by another meeting, say, a month later to review progress made by the two parties. Am working on some firm proposals for Australian representative to put forward.

1 See Document 336, note 1.

2 Kirby had been selected to serve as chairman of the new Stevedoring Industry Commission.

[AA:A9420/1, 2]