Sir Iven Mackay conveyed to me your message on February 24th and later sent me a copy of the statement you made to the House of Representatives on February 26th. I asked him then to convey to you my gratitude for your friendly approach and the sentiments you had expressed.
We are always agreeable to consultations between representatives of India and Australia in regard to matters of mutual concern.
India is deeply interested in the problems of the Pacific, economically, culturally and from the point of view of defence. I am sure that a discussion in regard to these and like problems will be helpful to us. As you know, we are at present passing through a rapid period of transition and have to face all the difficulties which accompany such periods. To these have to be added the complexities of post-war problems. We would therefore prefer to have the conference, as suggested, somewhat later when we are in a position to give more time or thought to it.
Meanwhile it may be worthwhile for you to suggest, in somewhat greater detail, the proposals which you would like to be discussed at such a conference, and to indicate, as far as is possible at this stage, the Australian view point in regard to them.