54 Cablegram From Harrison to Spender

Cablegram, London, 24 February 1951

1119. PRIORITY TOP SECRET PERSONAL

Your 1071.[1] The following letter was received from the Prime Minister this morning:

'You left with me last night a memorandum by the Australian Government on the subject of the discussions which have recently taken place between Australian, New Zealand and United States representatives at Canberra. Our High Commissioner at Canberra reported yesterday (Thursday) that he had received a letter from your Prime Minister enclosing a copy of the draft treaty[2] which was prepared for the consideration of the Governments of Australia, New Zealand and the United States. We regard this as a most important development. The implications of the draft agreement as far as it affects the interests and responsibility of the United Kingdom are being considered urgently by the Chiefs of Staff here and by Ministers, and I hope to be able to let you have a reply next week. I can say at once, however, that the United Kingdom Government are in full agreement in principle that the security needs of Australia and New Zealand must be met, this indeed has always been our view and if any other impression prevails in Canberra it can only be due to a misunderstanding. The Australian Government may, therefore, rest assured that the documentation now made available to us will be studied with a full understanding of the issues involved and with every desire to co-operate towards a realisation of the objectives in view. I will also send a reply on various detailed points raised in the Australian Government's memorandum.'

1 Document 51.

2 Document 50.

[NAA : A6768, EATS 77 Annex A]