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Historical documents

170 Hodgson to Evatt (in Washington)

Cablegram PW68 CANBERRA, 1 May 1943


Your E34 [1], 35 [2] and 36. [3] I fully appreciate your view. In
fact we had a severe struggle with Treasury to get agreement on
cable actually sent. [4]

Indeed, Treasury bolted, and got Chifley to approve of telegram
agreeing, in effect, with everything United Kingdom Government
proposed while our own draft was circulating. [5]

We insisted on reconsideration and eventually reached agreement on
draft which both Chifley and Prime Minister then approved. One of
difficulties is that Treasurer is only Minister readily available
taking specific and personal interest in these questions. For this
reason calling of Inter-departmental Committee on Wednesday does
provide a brake, and in any case a considered reply representing
various interests has to be furnished.

2. Press and radio are still fully reporting not only your
speeches and statements but reactions of American press and
publicists to them and necessities of this theatre. I have heard
nothing but praise for work you are doing from all shades of
public opinion, especially when I was in Sydney last week.

3. Political horizon very quiet. Practically no public controversy
on any subject, and nothing has been heard last fortnight from any
of United Service Group. One or two other new politicial
movements, such as liberal democrats, headed by Crick, have been
formed, but have aroused apparently no public interest or support.


Best wishes.

1 Document 169.

2 Dispatched 30 April. On file AA:A4764, 3. It urged that 'after
the Bruce report [see Document 167] is forthcoming the matter
should be quietly but firmly shelved for the present so far as
Australia is concerned', since Bruce could not be expected to
appreciate 'the particular embarrassment of the tariff and
imperial preferential discussions prior to general election'.

3 Dispatched 30 April. On the file cited in note 2. It suggested
to Hodgson that he 'put some brake on Interdepartmental Committee
[on External Relations] which after all has no political or
cabinet responsibility'.

4 Document 167.

5 The External Affairs Dept draft of 27 April is on file AA:A989,

6 For details of these attempts to form new political parties see
Paul Hasluck, The Government and the People 1942-1945, Australian
War Memorial, Canberra, 1970, p. 358.

[AA:A4764, 6]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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