554 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 868 CANBERRA, 21 July 1947

SECRET

Minister is greatly concerned that United States has not yet ratified South Pacific Agreement. [1]

2. French have suggested a revised French text as they claim first translation was not a good one. They have also suggested two amendments neither of any consequence.

3. We are replying, and the United Kingdom Government agrees, that provided French redraft is a faithful one we would be prepared to accept it but no change in substance can at this stage be made and the two points raised by them are points which can be dealt with by the Commission when it meets. We would be prepared to give an assurance that in practice we shall endeavour at Commission meetings to meet French wishes as far as possible. We are asking for immediate ratification.

ratification is still being delayed. If they mention French proposals you can inform them of our view.

5. As previous requests to this end have been made it would be more appropriate on this occasion to deliver a note asking that the matter be treated as one of urgency. [2]

[AA : A1838,1480/42, i]

1 On 9 June Beasely had reported formal acceptance by the United Kingdom Government.

2 The Embassy reported that although a Note in this sense had been delivered to the State Department, the matter was now beyond the Department's control. The Bill had been passed by the House of Representatives and was expected to be passed by the Senate before the end of the session on 26 July. In the event, minor last-minute amendments to the Bill prevented ratification before the adjournment.

[4.] Please stress our concern to State Department that