346 Hodgson to Shedden
The proposed Conference with New Zealand has now been postponed
until January as it has proved impossible to arrange mutually
convenient dates in December. 
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 ) 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
, for consideration by your Department. Memoranda covering the
following would be appreciated:-
1. Bases in the South-West Pacific Area which must be controlled
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
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.
W. R. HODGSON
[DEFENCE: MP1217, BOX 294, AUSTRALIAN-NEW ZEALAND CONFERENCE, JANUARY 1944]