73 Cablegram From Spender to Harrison

Cablegram, Canberra, 22 March 1951

1752. EMERGENCY TOP SECRET

Security Arrangements in the Pacific.

My immediately following telegram[1] contains text of a message from me to Gordon Walker in reply to Gordon Walker's message of 14th March, 1951, to Mr. Menzies. In view of the vital importance and urgency of this matter, I should be glad if you would transmit it immediately. New Zealand is handing its reply to the United Kingdom High Commissioner in Wellington this afternoon.[2]

2. Menzies and I have been in consultation with Holland and Doidge and all of us are in complete agreement on the substance of the Australian and New Zealand replies.

3. For your confidential information, Dulles has informed me that United States is considering circulating to F.E.C.[3] Governments on 24th March a draft Japanese Peace Treaty, possibly accompanied by an explanatory memorandum.[4] I have asked him to delay circulation in order to make it possible to clarify in the meantime the position regarding the proposed security arrangement in the Pacific. You will understand that publication of the American version of a Japanese peace treaty unaccompanied by some fairly specific reference to collateral security arrangements could well create a misleading impression in this country.

4. Completion of any preliminary talks on the Security Pact is, therefore, extremely urgent and I should be glad if you would press this view upon Gordon Walker. As you will see from the text of my reply, we doubt the wisdom or usefulness of the United Kingdom expressing to the United States its views on this subject. If any such views are to be expressed, however, this should be done immediately.

5. I should be glad to receive in due course any background information as to any action which the United Kingdom is taking.

6. Please delete the first word, namely the word 'draft', in the heading to my immediately following telegram. To save time, the message is now being repeated to London in the form in which it was sent yesterday to New Zealand in case the New Zealand Government had any comments.

1 Cablegram 1753 (22 March) conveyed the text of Document 71.

2 See note 4 to Document 71.

3 At a meeting in Moscow on 27 December 1945 the foreign ministers of the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States agreed to establish a Far Eastern Commission initially composed of representatives of the Soviet Union, the United States, China, France, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines Commonwealth to 'formulate the policies, principles and standards in conformity with which the fulfilment by Japan of its obligations under the terms of surrender may be accomplished'.

4 See note 4 to Document 68.

[NAA : A6768, EATS 77 Annex A]