Skip to main content

Historical documents

313 Curtin to Bruce

Cablegram 153 [1] CANBERRA, 25 October 1943


Your 186, 187 and 188. [2]

Results of conference cannot be regarded as satisfactory to
Australia. We would appreciate full account of proceedings and
particularly some indication of attitude of various participants
on points raised and reaction to views expressed by us in telegram
No. 146 of 8th October. [3]

2. Despite fact that conference was understood to be informal and
exploratory, it proceeded to what almost appears from your report
to be a cut and dried plan for establishing monopolistic routes.

From New Zealand High Commissioner [4] we have learnt that the
actual routes of two proposed services to Australia have been
proposed as exclusive British services though the intermediate
stations on one route, such as Manila and Vladivostock, clearly
indicate such a route might normally be regarded an international
trunk route. The decisions of conference appear to us to involve
radical departure from original proposals on basis of which we
issued our instructions.

3. We have strongest objection to any attempt to present a line-up
in favour of cut and dried scheme until possibilities of genuine
international control and operation have been more fully examined.

We fear that measures now proposed will prejudice chances of
internationalisation and especially have detrimental effect on
Australian interests in Pacific. In particular we have no
information as to what part, if any, Australia is to play in
overseas routes, especially trans Pacific.

4. In your 186, paragraph 2, you state that Beaverbrook will now
disclose to United States 'general line of our thought as
crystallised in Empire meeting'. Information at present available
is not sufficient to warrant our being associated with decisions
of the conference without further information and most careful

1 See also Document 322.

2 Cablegrams 186-7[A] are published as Documents 298-9. Cablegram
188[A] of 14 October is on file AA:A989, 43/735/832/5.

3 Document 292.

4 See letter of 18 October on the file cited in note 2.

[AA:A989, 43/735/832/5]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top