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Historical documents

101 Curtin to Evatt

Letter CANBERRA, 29 March 1944


I am in receipt of your letter of 24th March [1], relative to the
discussion of matters affecting the Department of External Affairs
which might arise during the forthcoming Prime Ministers'
Conference. You will recall the broad situation as I stated it in
my letter of 23rd December, 1943 [2], and the substance of which
was cabled to the United Kingdom and Dominion Governments on 3rd
March. [3] From this it was made clear that the time that could be
devoted to the Conference would not permit of a large number of
subjects being considered at great length. They would have to be
followed up by subsequent conferences between Ministers
responsible for the various aspects of Policy.

2. This situation, together with the documents you will furnish to
me and my own knowledge of Government Policy as well as the fact
that the services of the Australian Minister, Washington, the High
Commissioner, Canada, and the High Commissioner, London, and their
staffs will be available, appeared sufficient provision for all
contingencies. Nevertheless, if you still consider that a member
of your Department should be in my party, I shall be glad to take
one with me. In view of the additional burdens that are being
placed upon Ministers by the absence of two Ministers, I am not
agreeable to the administration of Departments being weakened by
the absence of any further Permanent Heads, of whom there will be
two away from Australia, as well as the Commander-in-Chief. This
should be borne in mind in any selection you make.


1 Document 94.

2 On file AA:A5954, box 646.

3 Document 62.

[AA:A5954, BOX 646]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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