349 Evatt to Burton

Cablegram unnumbered HMAS HOBART, 5 August 1947

FOR BURTON ALONE SECRET

1. Suggested date of Peace Conference 5th September, would be most inconvenient. [1] Moreover, it would tend to abbreviate and even nullify the Canberra Conference for which we have striven so hard.

British Group should suggest a positive date with all this in view. It seems best to suggest 12th September as we should be fully prepared by that time.

2. The British Group previously insisted the conference at Governmental level as it is quite impossible and naive to initiate a conference in any other way. It may be that the Canberra Conference could be ended in five days but it would be most unsatisfactory for it to meet under the shadow of being compelled to end in a limited time. This is so obvious that I need only refer you to previous arguments. France, China and Netherlands East Indies have little to do with the matter as the British Governments did not receive their support on these points.

3. If it is possible the Conference should be held preferably not at Washington but at San Francisco or Pearl Harbour.

[matter omitted]

1 On 2 August, Addison informed the Australian Government that the US Department of State had mentioned the possibility of a meeting between 5 and 19 September.

[AA : A4311/1, BOX 449]