393 Burton to Makin

Dispatch 1/49, CANBERRA, 1 June 1949

SECRET

I have the honour to refer to your cablegram No. 1094 of 8th October, 1948, conveying the State Department's objection to the appointment of an Australian Defence Representative and Staff in the United States of America, suitably accredited to the office of the United States Secretary of Defense, the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff and, as necessary, to the non-departmental agencies of the National Military Establishment, and your suggestion that the establishment of a joint service mission, for which there is precedent, might be considered.

2. The alternative suggested by you has been considered and it has been decided that an Australian Joint Service Staff should be established in Washington on a domestic basis consisting of the three Australian Service Representatives, a Staff Officer and such other officers of the Service Staffs as are required for part-time duty on joint Service matters. The senior of the three Service Representatives is to be of the equivalent rank of Major-General, and is to be allotted the additional duty of Head of the Australian Joint Service Staff in the United States of America. This appointment will be held by an officer of each Service in turn.

3. Major-General J.A. Chapman, DSO, has been appointed Head of the Australian Joint Service Staff in the United States of America, in addition to his duties as Head of the Australian Military Mission. Wing Commander W.E. Townsend is appointed Staff Officer to the Head of the Australian Joint Service Staff.

4. It has been suggested to the Ministers for the Navy and the Army, in view of the rotation of the appointment of Head of the Australian Joint Service Staff between the three services, if they concur, that they should take appropriate action to arrange for the titles of the Senior Naval and Army Representatives in the United States of America to be respectively:

Naval Representative and Naval Attache;

Head of the Australian Military Mission and Military Attache.

The Senior RAAF officer is designated already RAAF Representative and Air Attache.

5. In accordance with the principle that all Australian personnel in the United States of America work under your general jurisdiction, the Head of the Australian Joint Service Staff will be required to keep you adequately informed of joint service matters.

6. Attached is a copy of a directive to the Head of the Australian Joint Service Staff in the United States of America relating to his joint service functions. A copy is being sent also direct to Major-General Chapman. The extracts of the Australian Government Memorandum No. 1 - Co-operation in British Commonwealth Defence - dated 23rd May, 1947, which are referred to in paragraph 11 of the directive were forwarded with Despatch No. 1/1948 of 23rd August 1948 and are not attached. References in that Memorandum to the 'Defence Representative in the United States of America' are to be read as 'Head of the Joint Service Staff in the United States of America'.

7. It is desired that action should be taken to set up the Australian Joint Service Staff in Washington on a domestic basis as early as possible. It should not be essential to notify the American Authorities of this arrangement, and if you concur with this view, it is desired that the Australian Joint Service Staff should be established on a domestic basis forthwith. Since, however, close relations between the Head of the Australian Joint Service Staff and the American Service Authorities are desired, some form of informal notification and such accreditation as is acceptable to the American authorities would be desirable from the Australian point of view. Your views on the procedure which should be adopted for notifying the appropriate United States civil or service authorities or for seeking, if feasible, some form of accreditation of the Senior Service Representative as Head of the Australian Joint Service Staff are requested.

8. With regard to the proposed change in the status and title of the Senior Naval and Army Representatives which is referred to in paragraph 4 above, further notification of any action to be taken by you in this matter will be forwarded in due course.

[AA : A1068, DL47/5/2A]