117 Department of External Affairs to Mackay

Cablegram 43 CANBERRA, 13 February 1948

TOP SECRET

Your telegram 77 [1] regarding India's share in surplus B.C.O.F.

stores.

The position is as follows:-

1. In response to an enquiry regarding the disposal of surplus B.C.O.F. stores, the Australian contingent in Tokyo was informed on 8th January that the whole question was under consideration.

They were instructed to postpone disposal for the present until a decision was reached, when further instructions would be sent.

2. Apparently a garbled version of the above 'mark time' order leaked out to the Indian representative, resulting in Bajpai's well-founded complaint.

3. In determining the share of disposable stores due to each of the participating Governments, the underlying principle has been that allocations will be in proportion to the contribution made by each Government which originally undertook to support the Force, with India and Pakistan sharing on some agreed basis the stores assigned to the original Indian contingent. In accordance with this principle, India is, and always has been, entitled to her appropriate share of the surplus stores.

4. Please explain the position informally to Bajpai and convey our sincere regrets for the misunderstanding, which seems to have arisen partly as a result of our delay in despatching definitive instructions to Tokyo. These instructions will be despatched shortly.

5. (For your own information only). Australia does not desire to bid for her entitlement and we have been considering how to dispose of it. It is for this reason that the despatch of definitive instructions to Tokyo, as promised on 8th January, has been delayed.

1 Document 116.

[AA:A5954, 2342/3]