128 Cablegram From Spender to Casey

Cablegram, [Washington], 18 March 1952

382. IMMEDIATE CONFIDENTIAL PERSONAL

Your 273[1]

Have already written you on this and other matters.

My present thinking is as follows:

(a) First meeting of Pacific Council at least should be upon highest level between Acheson, Webb[2] and yourself. I am not in favour of this meeting being left to any deputy of Acheson's.

(b) This meeting would, if Acheson is to participate, almost certainly have to be held in Washington, though I would prefer for other reasons - San Francisco or Honolulu.

(c) At this meeting the initial arrangements for inter alia machinery and functions should be laid down.

(d) The meeting should be held shortly after the Treaty is ratified.

(e) If the first meeting of the Council is long postponed it will play into the hands of those who seek to diminish the functions and prestige of the Council.

(f) At the appropriate time I favour approach on highest political level - even perhaps from P.M. to President - in any event with prior notice to State Department to keep them onside - to have time and place of meeting fixed.

(g) For these reasons I hope that the first meeting of the Council will not have to wait until just before next session of General Assembly. A short trip by yourself to U.S.A. would of course be necessary but this is in my judgement of first class importance.

(h) After such first meeting we can the better get down to such matters as you mention in your third last paragraph.

(i) I agree the subordinate machinery must not be allowed to overshadow the Council itself for it will be in the Council where the prime decisions should be taken and the greatest pressure can be applied to uphold the power and influence of the whole consultative machinery.

1 Document 127.

2 T. C. Webb, New Zealand Minister of External Affairs.

[NAA : A5461, 1/4/1 (TS)]