168 Report by the joint Planning Committee

J.P.C. 6/47 20 February 1947

TOP SECRET

PROPOSALS OF NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT REGARDING ESTABLISHMENT OF JOINT SERVICE LIAISON STAFFS

Agendum No.1/1947

INTRODUCTION

In accordance with the direction of the Defence Committee the joint Planning Committee gave consideration to a letter by the NEW ZEALAND Minister for External Affairs relating to the establishment of a NEW ZEALAND Joint Service Liaison Staff in AUSTRALIA.

NEW ZEALAND PROPOSAL:

2. The Committee noted that the NEW ZEALAND Government has expressed its approval of the arrangements proposed at the Prime Ministers' Conference in May 1946, for the establishment of joint Service Liaison Staffs for general liaison duties in different parts of the BRITISH COMMONWEALTH (P.M.M.(46)20). Accordingly, the NEW ZEALAND GOVERNMENT proposes, if the AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT agrees, to organise the NEW ZEALAND Liaison Officer at MELBOURNE, as a NEW ZEALAND joint Service Liaison Staff (AUSTRALIA). It is contemplated that the Officer now discharging liaison duties, who also serves as NEW ZEALAND Representative on JCOSA, will be supplemented later by an Air Force Liaison Officer and possibly, also a Naval Liaison Officer.

3. The joint Planning Committee recalled that in Minute No- 515/1946Conference of Prime Ministers, LONDON, 1946-Organisation for Commonwealth Defence-the Defence Committee expressed its agreement with the conclusion by the UNITED KINGDOM Chiefs of Staff in P.M.M. (46)20, para. 10, which states-'To sum up, we think that provided each Dominion is willing to maintain a mission in the UNITED KINGDOM, and also, as necessary in other Dominions, and provided the UNITED KINGDOM maintains a mission in each Dominion, the necessary basis for a workable system will be available...' Further, the Defence Committee, in the same Minute, referred to the fact that only the UNITED KINGDOM and AUSTRALIAN Organisations had been discussed but stated that the Committee considered that the systems outlined could be extended to other Dominions and to the U.S.A. as may be necessary, so long as a high degree of flexibility is maintained.

4. The Committee recalled, further, that early in the War years, NEW ZEALAND had established a Liaison Officer in MELBOURNE and since the formation of the BCOF that Officer has also served as the NEW ZEALAND Representative on JCOSA. It was understood that this arrangement has worked satisfactorily. As the proposals now made by the NEW ZEALAND Government for the establishment of a joint Service Staff in AUSTRALIA would appear to accord, in principle, with the organisation proposed as the result of the Prime Ministers' Conference, the Joint Planning Committee considered they should be agreed to by the AUSTRALIAN Government.

5. With regard to the intention of the NEW ZEALAND Government to supplement the joint Service Liaison Staff by the addition of an Air Force Liaison Officer and possibly, a Naval Liaison Officer, the joint Planning Committee felt that one officer should be nominated by the NEW ZEALAND Government as Head of the Staff, with authority to act as the NEW ZEALAND Representative in AUSTRALIA, on joint Service matters. It was considered that this would accord in principle with the views of the Defence Committee (Minute No.515/1946) that '... only a single Joint Service Representative should be accredited to these committees in the particular country ...' and '... in view of the possibility of a number of Dominions being concerned, it is essential that the number of persons authorised to attend and speak at the various committees should be kept as low as possible'.

6. With respect to the statement, by the NEW ZEALAND Minister for External Affairs, that the establishment by the AUSTRALIAN Government of any equivalent mission in NEW ZEALAND would be welcomed, the Joint Planning Committee expressed the view that this appeared to be a matter for determination after the proposals submitted by the Defence Committee, in regard to the establishment of joint Service Staffs, in the UNITED KINGDOM and U.S.A. (Minute No. 516/1946), have been considered by the AUSTRALIAN and other Governments concerned.

CONCLUSIONS:

7. In the light of the foregoing, the Joint Planning Committee recommended that- (a) The proposal of the NEW ZEALAND Government to organise the NEW ZEALAND Liaison Officer at MELBOURNE as a NEW ZEALAND Joint Service Liaison Staff (AUSTRALIA) be agreed to;

(b) The NEW ZEALAND Government be requested to nominate one officer as Head of the Staff, to act as NEW ZEALAND Representative for consideration of joint Service matters, when the joint Service Liaison Staff is supplemented by an Air Force Officer, and possibly, a Naval Officer;

(c) the question of setting up an equivalent mission in NEW ZEALAND should receive consideration when a decision has been taken in respect of the proposals submitted by the Defence Committee in relation to joint Service Staffs in the UNITED KINGDOM and U.S.A. [1]

H.M. BURRELL Captain Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff

J.G. WILTON Colonel A/Director Military Operations and Planning

V.E. HANCOCK G/Captain Director of Air Staff Plans and Policy

H.D. PRESTON Joint Secretary Joint Planning Committee

1 The Defence Committee endorsed these recommendations on 4 March.

[AA : A5954/1, 1847/1]