450 Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs, to Mr Harry L. Hopkins, Adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Letter [WASHINGTON], 31 March 1942
Dear Mr. Hopkins,
I heard from Halifax  this afternoon that he had suggested to
the President the inclusion of India in the Washington Pacific
Council. In our view this would be a great mistake. India is
outside the Pacific theatre of operations and the inclusion would
extend the membership unduly.
Halifax had previously consulted both Nash  and myself
separately and he knew quite well that we were both opposed to the
proposal, not, of course, on any personal grounds, but solely
because of the general policy of our governments.
I hope that you will be the President's deputy on the council, and
that, as such, you will preside in his absence.
It is also important to consider, before the meeting to-morrow,
the general relationship of the council to such questions as
higher strategy, shipping, supply and munitions.
Would it not be desirable that, between meetings of the council,
there should be a very small committee to meet if important
matters arise? The only three countries which are at present
engaged in operations in the Pacific area are the United States,
Australia and New Zealand. The three representatives of these
countries might act as the committee.
I saw Beaverbrook  this afternoon.
H. V. EVATT