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Historical documents

122 Fraser to Curtin

Cablegram 48 WELLINGTON, 20 February 1943, 8.40 p.m.

My colleagues and I have decided that I should again raise with
you the question of exchange of representatives which was
discussed generally on the occasion of my last visit to Australia.

[1] We remain as firmly convinced as we believe you are of the
essential unity of the defence and foreign problems of Australia
and New Zealand. We feel it to be of the highest importance that
the policies of the Commonwealth and the Dominion should be
mutually understood to the fullest extent and that the only way to
maintain this understanding and to ensure that divergences are
kept to a minimum is to provide some better means than exist at
present for mutual information and for frank discussion in the
utmost confidence before any such divergences arise.

This appears to be of special importance to us in the fluid period
that lies ahead during which discussions of the greatest
significance for the Commonwealth and the Dominion must be

We would propose therefore, subject always of course to your
agreement, to appoint a High Commissioner for New Zealand in
Australia who would possess our fullest confidence, who has been
intimately associated with New Zealand's foreign and defence
policies for a lengthy period and who would be entirely qualified
to interpret your views to us and ours to you. Should you feel it
desirable to reciprocate we should be very happy to receive a
similar representative of Australia in New Zealand, but whether
you think it necessary to reciprocate in this way or not we very
much hope you will accept our representative.

Under such circumstances we would appoint Mr. C. A. Berendsen,
C.M.G., at present permanent head of the Prime Minister's
Department and Secretary for External Affairs.

I should be most grateful to learn whether this proposal is
acceptable to you and your Government and in which case I could
advise you as to the suggested form and date of its announcement
for simultaneous release.

1 Fraser visited Australia in May 1941, but no record of
discussion of this matter has been found.

[AA:A461, B348/1/17]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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