47 Kevin to Burton

Cablegram 16 NEW DELHI, 7 January 1949, 9.50 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

It would help us and may be a wise precaution if we could be kept informed of any important discussions on Indonesia which the department has with Bedi, two of whose telegrams Menon has shown me this week.

Bedi's latest telegram attributes to the Australian Government the view that the Asian conference should be founded on an ECAFE basis of representation [1], that it should not take in countries (presumably Arabic) west of Iran and that since China was invited to the Delhi meeting similar invitations should have been sent to the U.K. and U.S., whose dignity might be offended by exclusion.

This telegram gave rise to Bajpai's letter reported in my telegram 14. [2] Bedi also said that you were querying whether Australia was invited as a full participant which provided Menon with the opportunity of remarking to us that Australia was so invited.

I think that I should also report that when I notified Bajpai yesterday of Australian attend-ance he hinted that since the conference was now not scheduled to begin until January 20th it might be still possible for Dr. Evatt to attend. He was probably thinking of the Minister as a draw-card quite apart from any other influence which he might have exercised. He was content when I reminded him that the Australian representative would be an official occupying a position no less important than his own which is very considerable.

Your telegrams 2 and 8 [3] have just been received and are being attended to.

1 See note 2 to Document 12.

2 Dispatched on 7 January, it conveyed an assurance from Bajpai that geographical rather than racial considerations had influenced India's selection of the countries invited to the Asian Conference.

3 Documents 40 and 37.

[AA : A1838, 383/1/25]