334 Beasley to Chifley

Cablegram 73, LONDON, 28 April 1948, 6.40 p.m.

SECRET PERSONAL

I have noted from your telegram to the Commonwealth Relations Office that you have decided against participating in proposed informal Committee on E.R.P. in London. I can readily appreciate that you have doubts about taking any steps which might appear to commit us to policies in decision of which we have no direct part. No other Government has yet declined the invitation though replies are awaited from Eire and India.

It does seem to me that proposed Committee in London which would be quite informal and would make no decisions, could be made a useful starting point for informing ourselves.

Following Cripps's talk yesterday[1] I am convinced that we shall need to use every possible means of gathering information and attitude we have taken already should be a safeguard against any possibility of Committee of officials being used to our disadvantage. With officers of eight Governments asking questions chances of being fully informed are much greater than if we rely on efforts of one or two officers working outside the Committee as number of departments concerned will be considerable.

My concern is to keep you fully informed as I am mindful of your anxiety on this matter. I have fully discussed with Nimmo and Bury problems involved and as they both agree, I respectfully suggest that you might care to reconsider your decisions in light of our views.

[1] Beasley's account of the talk given by Sir Stafford Cripps, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, is published in Volume 14, Document 15.

[AA : A1838, 81/3/1/2, I]