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Historical documents

321 Evatt to Dixon

Cablegram 1325 CANBERRA, 29 October 1943


Your 1226. [1] Reciprocal Aid.

1. The Government's decision was only made after careful
consideration of all relevant factors including considerations
raised in your telegram and also the following-
(a) Magnitude of our contribution in relation to capacity.

(b) Certainty of Australia being pressed step by step to extend
and increase volume of supplies to United States of America.

(c) Prospect of pressure continuing for a considerable time after
European war ceases and thus imposing an unreasonable strain on
our very small resources.

However, your point regarding Truman Committee is appreciated and
in view of this and of our understanding that United Kingdom
Government will be forwarding its views next week we are agreeable
to deferring the delivery of the message to the State Department
for the moment.

3. We shall advise you further. In the meantime it would be unwise
for you to enter your [sic] conversations either informally or
formally with Hopkins. Please do not discuss matter with anybody
and let me have answer to my No. 1324 as soon as possible. [2]

1 Document 312.

2 Evatt's cablegram 1324 of 29 October instructed Dixon to report
immediately on any conversations he had had with U.K. or U.S.

officials on the question of Australia's decision on Reciprocal
Lend-Lease. Dixon replied the same day (cablegram 1243). Both
cablegrams are in FA:A3195/A3196, folder, cables 12.12.43-12.1.44.

War Cabinet again considered the U.S. request for the extension of
Reciprocal Lend-Lease to raw materials and foodstuffs on 4
November, but decided to adhere to its original decision not to
agree to the proposal; the U.S. State Department was informed
accordingly the following day. On 23 December the U.S. Minister to
Australia requested that the decision be reconsidered, but on 21
January 1944 War Cabinet once again decided not to do so. All
documents cited in this paragraph are on file AA:A2671, 448/1943,
supplement 1.

[FA:A3196, 1943, 0.29928]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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