80 Letter from Timbs to Bunting

Sydney, 21 March 1966


I received a telephone message last Friday about the two submissions which are now filed with the Cabinet Secretariat, one dealing with the Transfer of the Safeguards Provisions of our Bilateral to the I.A.E.A.1 and the other dealing with the S.G.H.W. Project.2

The message indicated that you felt that the two should come on together. I am hoping that the message was not correct, because I do feel rather strongly that Ministers would be very much confused if this were the case.

Our proposal to transfer the safeguards provisions of our bilateral to administration by the I.A.E.A. relates to Lucas Heights only and it is brought about by a combination of circumstances, but more particularly, by the attitude of the United States which has, I believe, an unrealistic but nevertheless missionary zeal in the matter of safeguards. We cannot run Lucas Heights without continued assistance from the Americans, but a firm condition of American assistance will be I.A.E.A. administration of the safeguards provisions of the bilateral.

[matter omitted]

I would very much appreciate it if the two submissions could be put on as far apart as possible. With regard to the submission on the transfer of the bilateral provisions of our U.S./Australia Agreement relating to safeguards to the I.A.E.A., I do feel that it is desirable that Hasluck be present. This has important international political overtones and I suspect that Hasluck could explain the problems more convincingly in Cabinet. It is not necessary that Baxter be available for discussion of this item.3

[matter omitted]

[NAA: A4940, C2609]