3 Letter from Dunk1 to Shedden2

Canberra, 7 March 1946

Top Secret and Personal

Defence Policy and National Security

I have studied carefully the enclosures to your Top Secret and Personal Letter of 26 February relating to Defence Policy and National Security.3

I agree that closer co-operation between our two departments would be greatly assisted by the appointment of an External Affairs Officer as liaison officer with the Department of Defence, Melbourne, and, although our staff difficulties are considerable, I hope to make early arrangements to this end.

Regarding the proposals for liaison in London, I would suggest that provision should also be made for continuous consultation between the Joint Service Staff 4 and the External Affairs Officer, as a parallel to consultation at the departmental level in Australia.

The proposals for liaison at the seat of the United Nations may need further consideration when the nature of the permanent Australian representation at the headquarters becomes more clearly known, and when the formalities of accreditation of missions to the United Nations have been worked out. These formal questions can be discussed when your department is ready to make proposals regarding the appointment of the joint service staff at the headquarters and the terms of the directive under which it will work.

I would also point out that in addition to questions arising in the Military Staff Committee,5 it will be necessary to consider defence aspects arising on the Atomic Energy Commission, of which Australia will be a member for the next two years. The expectation is that during the first few months the discussions on the Commission will be largely diplomatic and political, and that at an early date it will give attention, either in the Commission itself or in subcommittees to technical questions, both scientific and military, and it would be desirable that members of the joint service staff might be both available and qualified to represent Australia in such technical discussions.

[NAA: A5954, 1384/2]