243 Officer to Evatt

Cablegram 67 NANKING, [5 February 1949], 1.10 p.m.


Reference your telegram 25. [1] I have no hope of any early reaction from the other side. I have found a way of sending to them a copy of remarks I made on 2nd February but it will be some time before the channel I have used can bring me a reply.

2. There is no possibility of contact here or nearby and I have explained in my telegram 54 [2] why I cannot try to make direct contact at Peking.

3. I trust you will consider that you can make a statement on the lines suggested in my telegram 59 [3] on possibly 9th February, without any prior response from the other side. I do not think that they or anyone could take exception to the making of such a statement. Appropriately broadcast, it would serve to remind them that the world outside is expecting them to start negotiating. But the time is pressing and unless it is done quickly it probably will be too late. [4]

1 Dispatched 4 February, it stated that Evatt could not make statement until Officer received a report from the Communists.

2 Dispatched 2 February, Officer suggested he could try to obtain informal contact with the Communists, by sending the Third Secretary, L.E. Phillips, to Peking 'ostensibly to do his language examination'.

3 Document 242.

4 Evatt did not deliver such a statement in February 1949. In a general speech on international affairs in the House of Representatives on 21 June 1949 Evatt suggested that it would be appropriate for the UN to mediate.