In your letter of 3 April you advised that New Zealand had proposed a meeting of Australian and New Zealand ministers in Wellington on 11-13 May to consider unresolved issues in negotiations for a closer economic relationship. You indicated that you would proposed to lead the Australian delegation at that meeting and suggested that you be accompanied by Sir Phillip Lynch and Mr Nixon.
You also noted that you would be bringing forward a submission to Cabinet in advance of the Wellington meeting, setting out the unresolved issues and recommending an approach to the negotiations.
While the arrangements you propose are sound, I believe that the substantive issues which remain unresolved should be addressed in Cabinet before a firm commitment is made to the Wellington meeting in May. It would therefore be helpful if the submission you foreshadowed could be available for consideration well in advance of the projected dates for the Wellington meeting.
I am sending copies of this letter to Sir Phillip Lynch and Mr Nixon for their information.
[NAA: A1209, 1981/508, i]