Skip to main content

Historical documents

511 Mr J. B. Brigden, Financial Counsellor at the Legation in Washington, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 810 WASHINGTON, 1 June 1942, 6.31 a.m.


Reciprocal Lend Lease.

(1) I was summoned to the State Department and handed a document
which will be telegraphed to you in my immediately following
telegram. [1] In form it is a draft exchange of notes between the
Australian Minister, Washington, and the Secretary of State
indicating Australian willingness to provide reciprocal aid in the
widest terms; and agreeing to the inclusion of other United
Nations who participate.

(2) It assumes that Australia has already signed a duplicate of
the United States-United Kingdom Mutual Aid Agreement of February
23rd [2], and appears to be a standard form for all United
Nations. A copy different only in name was handed to the United
Kingdom representatives at about the same time. A similar copy is
to be given to Mr. Nash. [3]

(3) We are given to understand that the document has been approved
by the President [4] and Cordell Hull. [5] It must inevitably
supersede discussions with Acheson [6], and will require
consultation with United Kingdom which may not agree to the major
policy involved. I saw Phillips [7] and will send comments on the
foregoing when responding to your 671 [8] just received.

1 Document 512.

2 Australia had not signed a copy of this agreement, and the U.K.

Ambassador to the United States (Lord Halifax) had signed on
behalf of the U.K. Govt only. On 3 September the Commonwealth and
U.S. Govts exchanged Notes accepting the principles of the
agreement of 23 February. For a discussion of this issue see S. J.

Butlin and C. B. Schedvin, War Economy 1942-1945, Australian War
Memorial, Canberra, 1977, ch. 5. For the texts of the Notes see
Department of External Affairs, Current Notes on International
Affairs, vol. 13, no. 2, Canberra, 1 September 1942, pp. 63-6.

3 N.Z. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister to the United States.

4 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

5 U.S. Secretary of State.

6 U.S. Assistant Secretary of State.

7 U.K. Treasury representative in the United States.

8 Dispatched 1 June. On file AA:A981, USA 181, i.

[AA:A981, USA 181, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top