325 Department of External Affairs to Critchley
Cablegram 312 CANBERRA, 24 November 1948
Our telegram No. 297.  Republican representation at 4th ECAFE Session.
2. Our immediately following telegram contains text of a message which we sent on November 26th to the Australian Legation at The Hague. 
3. As application for associate membership of ECAFE is still before the Commission, this matter is bound to be raised early in the forthcoming session at Lapstone and our principal desire is that it should be settled with the minimum friction and loss of time; hence without jeopardy to forthcoming negotiations between Netherlands and the Republic.
4. As you will see, our present intention when the matter comes under debate, is to suggest, as a compromise, that the question of Republican associate membership be again postponed but that, in view of the de facto position, the Republican representative be given the status of consultant or observer for this session. We feel that this might command a majority bolstering of approval and that it would satisfy the Republic. A good deal attaches, however, to further details of the attitude of the Netherlands. It occurs to us that you might find some opportunity to sound out the Netherlands Delegation along the lines indicated, emphasising the point about the likely value of a question of this sort at this stage.