I refer to J.I.C. Agendum No. 92 dated 17th May, 1949, regarding a direction from the Defence Committee to the Joint Planning Committee to produce a paper entitled 'An Overall Concept for Australian Strategy'.
2. I shall be unable to attend the meeting of the J.I.C. on 26th May but, in case the above agendum item is discussed, would be grateful if you could bring to the notice of the Committee the views of this Department:
(1) An appreciation was prepared in this Department last September containing a survey of political events and trends in South-East Asia and a practical longterm programme to implement an active Australian policy in South-East Asia.  This appreciation was sent by the Acting Minister for External Affairs to the Minister for Defence on 6th October, 1948, and was subsequently referred to the Defence Committee. No comments have so far been received by the Acting Minister for External Affairs.
(2) This Department is proposing to revise the appreciation in the light of recent developments in China and South-East Asia  and would naturally take into account any comments received from the Defence Committee.
(3) It is not considered that the J.I.C. would be in a position to prepare a comprehensive appreciation of the nature proposed until questions arising out of the earlier appreciation prepared by this Department have been settled.