312 Australian Government to Addison

Cablegram 110 CANBERRA, 2 May 1947


Your Telegram 82.

1. During Moscow conference we suggested to Foreign Secretary preliminary British Commonwealth Conference on Japanese Settlement to be convened at Canberra. Subsequently our initiative was adopted but we received your counter-suggestion that London should be location.

2. As has already been indicated by New Zealand, this is out of the question for Mr. Fraser and it is equally out of the question for Australian Minister of External Affairs, at any rate, for some time. It is important to us to have Dr. Evatt present.

3. Australia and New Zealand are the two British Commonwealth countries most vitally affected by Japanese Settlement. South Africa has indicated little interest and is not a member of F.E.C.

Canadian interests are relatively remote compared with Australia.

4. In the circumstances, our special interest in Pacific should be recognised. We ask that the United Kingdom Government might reconsider this matter and endeavour to make possible a preliminary British Commonwealth discussion at Canberra even though this might have to take place in the absence of certain Ministerial representatives from the United Kingdom Government.

Subsequently, it might be practical to have broader discussions between responsible United Kingdom Ministers and our own.

[AA : A1068, P47/10/61, ii]