318 Fraser to Evatt

Cablegram 110 WELLINGTON, 29May 1947, 8.55 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET PERSONAL

Your telegram No. 137.

1. Thank you for your comments on current external questions affecting both our countries. It is clear that the longer the British Commonwealth talks are deferred the smaller chance there is of influencing American opinion. I feel, however, I should let you know at once that I myself will be unable to leave New Zealand for the next few months and especially while Parliament is sitting. We will, of course, arrange to be represented in any talks in Canberra by Mr. Barclay [1] if no Minister is available.

2. I understand and share your views as to the undesirability of F.E.C. being turned into a preliminary peace conference, especially as at present constituted with its veto provision for the Four Big Powers and under the Chairmanship of McCoy. I still feel that the peace-making body which is to initiate these discussions should be composed of or include the present F.E.C.

members. Until some definite arrangements for a fully representative peace-making body are agreed upon, however, we remain doubtful of the wisdom of terminating F.E.C. lest it be replaced by another body on which New Zealand and other small powers are not represented.

3. I do not think there is anything I can usefully add on the question of reparations procedure. We have, as you know, held the view that F.E.C. have authority to deal with reparations and in supporting the other members of the Commission in their desire to proceed with discussions on this question we felt that having gone so far there was nothing to be lost by continuing. Indeed it seemed to us unfortunate not to take full advantage of the wide measure of agreement that a solution should be sought along the lines F.E.C. is now considering. A beginning must be made on the concrete task of allocation sooner or later and we would have hoped that ironing out of difficulties over the past months would have contributed to an early solution which in the interests of allied belligerents as for Japan is most desirable.

1 J.G. Barclay, High Commissioner for New Zealand in Australia.

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