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346 Hodgson to Shedden

Memorandum CANBERRA, 9 December 1943

The proposed Conference with New Zealand has now been postponed
until January as it has proved impossible to arrange mutually
convenient dates in December. [1]

2. It is appreciated that there are difficulties in formulating
precise views on defence matters in advance of political decisions
regarding the international security structure in the Pacific. On
the other hand the political decisions, involving as they must
commitments in regard to the defence of particular points and
areas, cannot safely be made without prior advice on defence
matters, especially (a) the essential requirements of Australian
security and (b) the degree to which Australia is capable of
providing for these requirements.

3. The draft Agenda for the proposed Conference with New Zealand
(copy enclosed with my memorandum of 23rd November [2]) indicates
the general nature of the defence questions with which the
Conference would be concerned.

4. The following topics are proposed, in accordance with the
suggestion in paragraph (6) of your memorandum of 6th December
[3], for consideration by your Department. Memoranda covering the
following would be appreciated:-

1. Bases in the South-West Pacific Area which must be controlled
by Australia.

2. Bases in the South and South-West Pacific Areas which must be
controlled by a friendly power.

3. Extent to which Australia could maintain bases mentioned under
(2) including consideration of cost, manpower, industrial
potential, etc.

4. Mutual defence problems and interests of Australia and New

Desirable forms of mutual assistance as contribution towards
maintenance of peace and security between Australia and New
Zealand (e.g. Munitions; Aircraft; Staff co-operation; Supply).

6. Defence problems connected with civil air transport in
SouthWest and South Pacific Areas.

7. General view of a desirable international security system in
the Western Pacific.

5. It is suggested, as a practical means of collaboration in the
preparatory work for the Conference, that an officer of your
Department might be assigned to confer at an early date with
officers of the Department of External Affairs.


1 See Evatt's Note to Berendsen of 1 December. The N.Z. Govt had
proposed that the conference be held from 13 to 18 December, but
Evatt pointed out that this would conflict with the Australian
Labor Party Conference in Sydney. On 9 December J. D. L. Hood of
the External Affairs Dept prepared a letter to W. J. Garnett of
the U.K. High Commission in Canberra advising him of plans for the
conference, but on Evatt's instructions that 'no communication to
the U.K. need be made at this stage' this letter was not
dispatched. Evatt issued a public statement about the conference
on 28 December and mentioned that he hoped that' . . . after it is
held it will be possible to hold, also in Australia, a wider
conference consisting of accredited representatives of all powers
with territorial interests in the South-West Pacific'. All
documents cited in this note are on file AA:A989, 43/735/168.

2 The draft agenda is published as an Attachment to this Document.

Hodgson's memorandum to Shedden of 23 November (including a copy
of the draft agenda) is on file Defence: MP1217, Australian-New
Zealand Conference, January 1944.

3 On the file cited in note 2. Paragraph (6) requested more
definite particulars of subjects proposed for discussion.


Draft Agenda sent to New Zealand High Commissioner, 18.11.43

1. Definition of objectives of Australia-New Zealand co-operation.

-During and immediately after the war,
-In relation to discussions by either Government in London or

2. Agreement on scope of co-operation.

-Armistice preparations and arrangements.

-Post-war matters (security; aviation, migration etc.). -

-Relations with other Pacific powers.

3. Detailed discussion of certain matters with a view to
correlation of policy.

(a) Armistice arrangements-requirements of each Government and
their presentation in London and Washington.

(b) Security.

(i) objectives;

(ii) application of Article 5 of Four-Power Declaration [1];

(iii) regional arrangements;

(iv) bases-types, location, responsibilities (maintenance,
manning, arming and supply);

(v) disposal of wartime installations.

(c) Dependencies.

(i) wartime changes in Pacific Islands;

(ii) interim administration;

(iii) future of territories including Mandates and Western Pacific
High Commission;

(iv) collaboration in economic and social development.

(d) Relations with other Pacific Powers.

(i) U.S.A. and France;

(ii) procedure for international agreement (including inter alia
Netherlands and Portugal) for South-West Pacific and Southern
Pacific Zones of Security.

4. Machinery required for collaboration, including exchange of

Statement of conclusions.

[AA:A989, 43/735/168]

1 This Article is set out in paragraph 3 of Document 287.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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