84 Cablegram From Spender to Dulles
Cablegram, Canberra, 16 April 1951
161. IMMEDIATE TOP SECRET
Pacific Pact 1. I have received your most heartening message of 13th April. It is most gratifying that difficulties which you felt might have stood in the way of a three-power arrangement now appear to have been overcome, and that it has been found possible for a high level statement to be made at an early date. I need scarcely say that we are deeply grateful for the sympathetic consideration which has been given in Washington to our point of view and to that of the United Kingdom.
2. With regard to the text of the proposed statement by the President, I have no amendments of substance to suggest, and other possible verbal alterations seem too unimportant to put forward. You should assume therefore that Australia agrees to the text of the proposed statement which we interpret as preliminary to final agreement on the precise terms of a treaty along the basic lines of the Canberra draft. I am contacting Doidge in New Zealand immediately and hope they will inform you that they take the same point of view.
3. In the last paragraph of your message you refer to some difficulties regarding Article 8 of the Canberra draft. We do not regard the point you mention as a vital matter, and you need anticipate no difficulty in our reaching agreement with you on matters which do not affect the basic substance of the Treaty. We will, of course, wish to see the actual text of any proposed amendments and to reserve the right to make counter suggestions. But I am completely confident that we can reach agreement on such comparatively minor matters.
4. The question of timing the Presidential statement is particularly important to us, and I would hope you see no difficulty in the way of such a statement being issued in Washington on Friday next 20th April, Washington time, at a particular time agreed upon between the United States, Australia and New Zealand. This would enable me to comment here before leaving Melbourne by ship at noon on Saturday 21st April Australian time. I shall contact Doidge immediately on this question of timing.
5. For your confidential information, I should add that during the consultations which have taken place between Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom on this matter, we readily agreed with the United Kingdom view that if and when an authoritative statement on this subject was made, we would co-ordinate the timing of comments or statements in London, Wellington and Canberra, making it clear that Australia and New Zealand had been in touch with the United Kingdom throughout our negotiations with you. For our part we would wish to add that any agreement with the United States on security arrangements in the Pacific in no sense implied any weakening in the ties between Australia and the United Kingdom. I am sure you will appreciate that it may be desirable to make some such statement in order to meet possible criticism, particularly in the United Kingdom, that the reverse might be the case. For this reason I am taking up immediately with London the question of such a statement being made on Friday 20th April, London and Washington time on the assumption that this date is satisfactory to the United States. Best regards.