299 Gordon Walker to Australian Government

Cablegram 98 LONDON, 2 April 1948, 8.07 p.m.

SECRET

Your telegrams No. 112 of 7th May and No. 234 of 28th August, 1947. Disposal of the Japanese fleet.

2. Now that all bids from British Commonwealth have been received we wish to offer a share in the United Kingdom allocation to the French and Netherlands Governments. We are already committed to do so in the case of France. Our views on the moral claims of the Netherlands to a share were set out in our telegram No. 361 of the 13th November, 1946.

3. In your telegram No. 112 Australian Government suggested that any allocation of Japanese vessels to the Netherlands Government should be small and should not include any vessel of offensive value. We understand from informal conversations with the Netherland authorities last year that they are only interested in auxiliary vessels and possibly small patrol craft. In any event the destroyers and escorts have been demilitarised and are regarded by the Admiralty as of practically no offensive value.

4. We hope that in the circumstances Australian Government will see no (repeat no) objection to a share in the United Kingdom allocation being offered to the Netherlands Government.

[AA:A3318, L49/3/1/23]