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Historical documents

195 Commonwealth Government to Attlee

Cablegram 119 CANBERRA, 15 May 1913


Your telegrams 234 [1] and 280 [2] Post-War Commercial Policy. The
Commonwealth Government appreciates the opportunity for an
exchange of views before the United Kingdom Government's
preliminary approach is made to the United States Government and
is glad to learn that it has been possible to postpone the
proposed date of the talks to at least the 15th June. On the
assumption that this date will avoid any overlapping with the Food
Conference the Commonwealth Government is pleased to accept the
United Kingdom Government's invitation to take part in informal
and preliminary and entirely non-committal talks at the expert and
official level. The Commonwealth Government is very strongly
impressed with the desirability of ensuring that any such talks
should be undertaken with the full knowledge and understanding of
the United States Government and that the date finally determined
should not involve overlapping with the Food Conference. This is
additionally important because of our difficulties in regard to
representation and strong disinclination to withdraw any
representatives from Food Conference, which we think might create
a very bad impression.

For reasons which can be discussed with you more fully by Dr.

Evatt when he reaches London we are most anxious that every care
should be taken to avoid any leakage in regard to holding of
talks, which could be most difficult for us at this juncture. For
this and other reasons we should have preferred talks to take this
form of informal discussions between each dominion and United
Kingdom rather than meeting which might be represented publicly as
formal conference on limited and highly controversial subjects. It
would further ease the position if the talks could be broadened in
name if not much in substance to cover the general programme of
discussion on matters arising out of Article (7) and perhaps the
conclusions of the Food Conference.

We share your hope that it will not be necessary to open matters
with United States Government until we have exchanged views, and
trust you will keep us fully informed of any developments in this
direction. [3]

1 Document 165.

2 Dispatched 10 May. On file AA:A989, 43/735/57/1. It advised that
the Canadian and South African Govts had agreed to an informal
exchange of views on commercial policy and suggested that the
meeting should begin on 15 June.

3 Attlee replied on 20 May agreeing with the suggestions made by
the Commonwealth Govt. See cablegram 112 on the file cited in note

[AA:A989, 43/735/57/1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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