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Historical documents

305 Evatt to Berendsen

Letter CANBERRA, 21 October 1943

I have the honour to refer to various matters relating to the
future of the Southern Pacific region which appear to be the
common concern of Australia and New Zealand, and to suggest an
early exchange of views between Ministerial representatives of our
two Governments, on an informal and exploratory basis.

The subjects which I have in mind include:

Post-war security, particularly the regional arrangements for the
Southern Pacific.

The future of the outlying territories of Australia and New
Zealand and their respective mandated territories.

The interest of Australia and New Zealand in the future of the
neighbouring island groups under British, French, Dutch,
Portuguese and United States control.

Wartime developments in Australia, New Zealand and the adjacent
islands which may affect their political and economic future.

The post-war use and disposal of installations, aerodromes, and
other works constructed in wartime in this area.

Trans-Pacific aviation.

The future economic development and social betterment of the
Southern Pacific.

Beyond these questions lies the whole field of New Zealand and
Australian economic and political relations and my Government
hopes that from time to time occasion will be found for discussion
of all phases of our common interests at meetings in both
Wellington and Canberra. For the present, however, we would wish
to concentrate on matters directly related to the safe-guarding of
our common interests in the post-war political settlement in the

As I indicated in a statement to Parliament on 14th October [1], I
propose subsequently to seek an exchange of views with the various
Governments interested in the South-West Pacific but, as a first
step, suggest that it is desirable a mutual understanding be
reached between New Zealand and Australia as sister Dominions and
as the two largest European communities in this region, before an
approach is made to other Governments.

I should be pleased to receive as early as possible the views of
your Government concerning the suggestion for a meeting and the
subjects proposed for discussion. It is my hope that the talks
might take place in Canberra some time in November. [2]

[AA:A989, 43/735/168]

1 See Document 297, note 2.

2 Berendsen replied on 1 November that the N.Z. Govt would
'welcome the opportunity to take part in a preliminary exchange of
views as suggested and also in any further conference to be
attended, inter alia, by representatives of the United Kingdom on
matters of common interest relating to the post-war political
settlement in the Pacific'. He pointed out, however, that the
preliminary discussions could not be held until the N.Z. Prime
Minister, who was then in hospital, resumed duty. See letter on
file AA:A989, 43/735/168.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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