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18 Conference of Australian and New Zealand Ministers

Proceedings of the Conference CANBERRA, 17-21 January 1944



(Pacific Conference Papers, Agenda No. 1.)


Item 1 on Draft Agenda-'Definition of Objectives of Australian -
New Zealand Co-operation'
1. As a preliminary, provision for fuller exchange of information
regarding both the views of each Government and the facts in the
possession of either bearing on matters of common interest.

2. Assurance that, so far as possible, each Government is
acquainted with the mind of the other before views are expressed

3. Based on the above exchange of views and information, the
maximum degree of unity in the presentation of views by the two
Governments at London, Washington or elsewhere.

4. A more expeditious means of correlation than the present round
about procedure whereby one Government frequently learns the
opinions of the other via the Dominions Office.

5. Establishment of continuous means of consultation.

6. Agreement between the two Governments to act together in
matters of common concern in the South and South-West Pacific
Zone, e.g., control of territories, native welfare, and
communications between Australia and New Zealand.

7. So far as compatible with the existence of separate military
commands, to co-ordinate defence resources for the remaining
period of the war.

Item No. 3 (a) on Draft Agenda-'Armistice Arrangements'
8. Agreement between the two Governments that they have vital
interest in Armistice preparations and subsequent arrangements,
and their interests should be protected by representation at
highest level on Armistice planning and executive bodies.

9. Agreement as to the main terms which should be contained in any
Armistice, including:-

(i) terms of surrender of the enemy;

(ii) postponement of actual terms of peace until hostilities are
completed with all enemies and final settlement can be made;

(iii) terms of withdrawal of the enemy from all occupied areas;

(iv) provision for the interim administration of liberated and
captured enemy territories.

10. Agreement as to arrangements in the post-Armistice period,
including our active participation in any Armistice Commissions
set up in the Pacific area. Also agreement as to the location of
machinery set up under such organizations as U.N.R.R.A., e.g., the
Far Eastern Relief Committee.

11. Agreement as to the setting up in Australia and New Zealand of
Armistice and Post-Hostilities Planning Committees and for a joint
body or other machinery to co-ordinate their work with a view to
giving effect to our views in London or Washington.

12. Agreement as to the terms of communication to London.

Item No. 3 (b) on Draft Agenda-Security'

13. The first objective is to obtain Australian - New Zealand
agreement that, subject to a general system of world security, a
regional South Pacific and/or South-West Pacific Zone of security
shall be established. A possible starting point is Article IV. of
the Moscow Four Power Declaration. The United States Government is
proposing to invite forthwith the adherence of other United
Nations to this Article. The United Kingdom Government, however,
holds the view that a better procedure would be for a preliminary
exchange of views in elaboration of the objectives of Article IV.

between the original parties to the Declaration. Canada generally
supports this view. The question of the Australian - New Zealand
attitude would be an appropriate matter for discussion.

14. It would be more in consonance with Australian views to urge
the acceptance of the United States proposals with a view to the
earliest possible association of other powers with the Moscow
Declaration. This association could be followed immediately by an
exchange of views between all the Governments principally
concerned for the more de-tailed elaboration of a security system.

15. The Australian Government did not entirely welcome the
limitation of the declaration of security to four (or three)
powers only. In the Australian Government's view, it would be a
step in the wrong direction if it was now agreed to confine the
preliminary exchange of views among the same four powers, a
process which on previous experience would probably result in the
submission to Australia and
New Zealand of a more or less cut-and-dried plan in which the two
Governments had had either no voice at all or only a small time
permitted for adherence.

16. It is regarded by the Australian Government as a matter of
cardinal importance that Australia and New Zealand should both be
associated in the initial stages with the elaboration of a general
inter national system.

17. Article V. of the Four-Power Declaration contemplates the
association of other than the four Powers in the regional policing
arrangements necessary before the institution of the security
system envisaged in Article IV. It is submitted that it would be
very unwise to await the implied invitation in Article V. and that
it would be desirable for the two Governments to agree to
establish forthwith their interest in the arrangements
contemplated in Article V. and also to specify, so far as
possible, the territories in which they would be prepared either
(a) to assume full responsibility for policing, or (b) to share in
policing. Under (a) a starting point for Australia might be New
Guinea, Portuguese Timor, British Solomons; under (b) Dutch New
Guinea, Dutch Timor, southern fringe of East Indies up to and
including Java and the New Hebrides.

18. On Article V. itself it is suggested that a communication
might be sent to London presenting the case for the assumption of
initial responsibility by Australia and New Zealand for policing
arrangements in the South and South-West Pacific Zone.

19. Australian official statements have envisaged a security zone
centred on Australia and stretching from the Netherlands East
Indies through the arc of islands to Fiji and New Zealand. The
institution of this zone could be secured by the agreement of all
the Governments concerned, i.e., Netherlands, Portugal, France,
United Kingdom, United States, Australia and New Zealand. It is
suggested that a general conclusion might be reached under this
heading in regard to (a) what territories or points should be the
full defence responsibility of Australia or New Zealand, (b) in
what areas responsibility should be shared with another Government
and (c) in what areas (if any) responsibility should be assumed
exclusively by other Governments.

20. The views of the Australian Defence Committee have been sought
under the following terms of reference:-

(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
(1), including consideration of cost, man-power, industrial
potential, &C.;

(4) Mutual defence problems and interests of Australia and New

(5) Desirable forms of mutual assistance as contribution by
Australia and New Zealand towards maintenance of peace and
security (e.g., munitions, aircraft, staff co-operation, supply);

(6) Defence problems connected with civil air transport in South
West and South Pacific Areas;

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

21. The assumptions on which the Defence Committee based its
opinions and the substance of its views are contained in Annex A.


22. The question of the disposal of war-time installations touches
the post-war use and possession of military, air and naval
installations constructed wholly or partly with United States
resources. It seems to be under consideration by the United
Kingdom Government on the service level. It is obvious that the
war-time construction of installations by the United States does
not afford the slightest juridical basis for territorial claims by
the United States. The only consideration suggested in the Mutual
Aid Agreement was the consideration that countries receiving the
benefit of lend-lease would enter into negotiations to explore the
possibilities of improved economic conditions in the post war
period. The subsequent establishment, by agreement, of the re
ciprocal lend-lease principle further negates the argument that
pooling of resources during the war has relation either
juridically or as a matter of equity and fair dealing to the
future possession by either country of installations or fixtures
erected solely for the purpose of achieving early victory in the

Item No. 3 (c) of Draft Agenda-Aviation'
23. The question of post-war aviation was recently referred by the
Australian Cabinet to an interdepartmental committee. The report
of this Committee has now been handed to the Minister for Civil
Aviation and will be submitted to Cabinet at an early meeting. [3]

24. The recommendations of the committee regarding the external
aspects of civil aviation follow the general lines already laid
down by the Australian Government in its various communications to
the United Kingdom Government on the subject and in its
instructions to its representatives at the non-committal talks on
civil aviation held between the United Kingdom and Dominion
representatives in London last October.

25. That policy may be summarized as follows:-

(i) (a) Civil Aviation should, so far as possible, be subject to
the general principle of international collaboration.

(b) The general inclusion of all air transport services within the
terms of a convention which would supersede and take over the
powers of the International Convention on Aerial Navigation, with
powers revised and extended not only to regulate such matters as
safe flying, navigation, &c., but also to control all
international air transport including air routes, air services,

(c) The actual operation of certain services (i.e., main inter
national routes) by an International Air Transport Authority, the
system being framed to allow the devolution by the International
Authority to national authorities of the management of routes
either within particular regions or on particular services.

(d) The conclusion of an international agreement to create the
International Air Transport Authority that is envisaged.

(ii) This statement of principle has been amplified by the
declaration of certain national needs which Australia would wish
to have recognized within the framework of an I international
agreement. These are-
(a) The right to conduct all services within her own territory or
jurisdiction, subject only to agreed international requirements
regarding safety and commitments in respect of the proposed
international Air Authority in regard to facilities, landing and
transit rights for international services, ex change of mails, &c.

(b) The right to conduct local services between Australia and
neighbouring countries such as New Zealand, New Caledonia, New
Hebrides, the Solomons, New Guinea and Timor under bilateral or
multi-lateral agreements, subject to supervision by the
international authority.

(c) The Australian production of aircraft and all raw materials
used in the construction of aircraft to an extent adequate to her
requirements, and the expansion of the Australian aviation
industry and allied industries. It is recognized that these
requirements will vary according to whether or not it is found
possible, as part of the general agreement for the international
control of aviation, to enter into arrangements ensuring a
sufficient supply of up-to-date and suitable transport aircraft to
all operating countries on reasonable terms and without
discrimination on the part of the large aircraft manufacturing
countries; and according to the methods of obtaining international
security. The geographical situation of Australia, and the part
she must play in maintaining the security of the South-West
Pacific have also been stressed.

(d) The use of a fair proportion of Australian personnel, agencies
and materials in operating and maintaining overseas services,
especially those leading to and from Australia.

(iii) In laying down these principles, the Commonwealth Government
has shown its preference for a genuine attempt to obtain
international collaboration rather than to concentrate upon a plan
confined to British countries.

26. The Committee elaborates this policy by setting out various
considerations which, in its view, should be covered in an
International Convention on Air Navigation. It also expressly
proposes that any international air authority should be intimately
associated with the United Nations organization for security.

27. It is submitted that, so far as civil aviation is concerned,
the conference might seek the following:-

(i) An agreement on the general principles to govern post-war
civil aviation (along the lines set out in paragraph 25 above).

(ii) A preliminary exchange of views between the Governments in
regard to-
(a) the proposals for an international conference;

(b) the proposals emanating from the British Commonwealth talks on
civil aviation held in London last October;

(c) the existing position of the two Governments in regard to
B.O.A.C., Qantas, Tasman Empire Airways and the war time
activities of American trans-Pacific ferry services;

(d) the availability of commercial transport aircraft for services
to and from the two Dominions and for their internal airlines,
including the possibilities of post-war manufacture within the
Australia - New Zealand region.

(iii) A reaffirmation of the understanding [4] between the two Do
minions to exchange information and to consult on any civil
aviation matters affecting both countries.

28. The purpose of the exchange of views proposed in paragraph
27 (ii) above would be to inform each Government of the interests
and existing commitments of the other, as a basis for common

Item No. 3 (d) of Draft Agenda [5] (i)
29. Exchange of information and views by representatives of
Australian and New Zealand Governments on recent developments in
regard to the following:-

(a) Development of bases, airfields, &C., in Pacific Islands.

(b) War-time administration in Pacific Islands.

(c) United Kingdom arrangements and plans for war-time and post
war control and development of Pacific Islands.

(d) American activities in Pacific Islands.

(e) War-time collaboration in Pacific Islands between Australia,
New Zealand and other Powers and the local administrations.

Effects of war on native labour, social life, standards of living,

(ii) Administration between the time of recapture and the
(a) Nauru
30. The Australian Government's action in regard to preparations
for resumption of administration in Nauru was along the following
lines:-The United States Government was informed that Australia
was ready to resume administration in Nauru and the United States
Government was asked to instruct the Commander-in-Chief South
Pacific Area to co-operate in meeting the Australian Government's
desires. [6] Attention was drawn to the importance of the earliest
possible resumption of the extraction of phosphates.

(b) New Guinea and Papua
31. The constitution and functions of Australian New Guinea
Administration Unit (A.N.G.A.U.) are described in Pacific
Conference Paper No. 3. [7]

(c) Combined Civil Affairs Committee
32. This Committee was set up in Washington in September, 1943, as
an agency of Combined Chiefs of Staff. it consists of
representatives of British and American armed forces and
diplomatic services. Its function is to advise Combined Chiefs of
Staff on policies relating to the war-time administration of
territories recovered from the enemy. On inquiry the Accredited
Representative in London has informed us that this Committee's
status and functions are being reconsidered. [8] Its location may
be moved to London, and it may cease to be an agency of the
Combined Chiefs of Staff. it is suggested that Conference might
agree that joint representations be made by the two Governments to
the United Kingdom and, if necessary, the United States to the
effect that Australia and New Zealand would insist on direct
representation on the Committee if its jurisdiction is extended to
the South Pacific or South-West Pacific.

(d) Japanese Mandated Islands
33. The interim administration and post-war disposal of the
Japanese Mandated islands is of the greatest importance to
Australia and New Zealand. Australia was not consulted in regard
to the Cairo Declaration [9], although it vitally affected the
distribution of power in the Pacific. Neither Australia nor New
Zealand was consulted in any way as to the Cairo discussions.

Positions of great importance were given away for no consideration
and without any special regard for the interests of unrepresented
countries like Australia and New Zealand. For example, in the
decision to return Formosa to China, a valuable bargaining point
was yielded. There have been indications of a desire on the part
of the United States to claim some positions in the Pacific. In
view of the danger of piecemeal arrangements, such as those made
at Cairo, the Australian Government believes it to be of the
utmost importance that Australia and New Zealand should not agree
to any such post-war commitments except as part of a general

(e) United Kingdom Pacific Dependencies
34. It is submitted that conference might agree that an inquiry be
addressed to London as to what arrangements the United Kingdom
Government proposes for the interim administration of its Pacific
Island territories.

35. It is submitted further that the two Governments inform the
United Kingdom Government that Australia and New Zealand are
prepared to make available a number of experienced officers and
are prepared to institute immediately an emergency course of
training for suitable qualified men.

(iii) Future of Pacific Territories
(a) Welfare of Native Peoples
36. The Atlantic Charter is presumably to be applied and therefore
the doctrine of 'trusteeship' already expressed in the case of the
mandated territories seems applicable in broad principle to all
colonial territories in the Pacific and elsewhere. The question
then arises: What is the purpose of the trust? The answer seems to
be: The welfare of the native people and their social, economic
and political development. The advantage of this is that a Charter
can be drawn for the native peoples, along such lines, for example
as those set forth in Professor Elkin's [10] pamphlet, Wanted-A
Charter for the Native People of the South West Pacific. (The
Fourteen Points of the Charter are contained in Annex B.) [11]

(b) Territories of Western Pacific High Commission
37. It is submitted that agreement might be reached as follows:-

(1) that Australia should offer to undertake responsibility for
the administration of the British Solomon Islands;

(2) that Australia should offer either (i) to undertake the
British share of responsibility under the Condominium in the New
Hebrides, either jointly with New Zealand or alone, or (ii) that
Australia and New Zealand take up with the United Kingdom
Government the question of obtaining complete control of the New
Hebrides either by purchase or exchange of territory;

(3) that Australia and New Zealand inform the United Kingdom that
they are prepared to agree to the institution of a United States -
United Kingdom condominium in and over the islands known as the
Line islands;

(4) that Australia and New Zealand will under no circumstances
agree to the establishment of a condominium with United States as
a party in any of the following-New Ireland, New Britain, the
Solomons, New Caledonia and New Hebrides;

(5) that if the question of a condominium in any other group in
the South or South-West Pacific be raised at any time Australia
and New Zealand insist that they be consulted before any
negotiations be entered into and that their full concurrence be
obtained before any agreement is concluded.

(iv) Collaboration in Economic and Social Development
38 Studies of the economic, social and political development of
the Pacific islands suggest that the future of the various
colonies and the welfare of their inhabitants cannot be
successfully promoted without a greater measure of collaboration
between the numerous authorities concerned. Collaboration is
particularly desirable in regard to health services and
communications, but also desirable in matters of native education,
anthropological investigation, assistance in native production and
in material development generally. The satisfactory correlation of
administration has an important relation to defence both
positively in strengthening the material development,
communications, &c., of the Islands, and negatively, in assisting
to remove or reduce causes of international friction. The island
administration, however, cannot make any substantial contribution
to the security of the area as a whole and proposals for the co-
ordination of island administration are, therefore, based on the
assumption that the security of the area as a whole will be
otherwise maintained.

It is submitted that the conference might agree that the
Australian and New Zealand Governments should take the initiative
in establishing a regional organization which might be known as
the South Seas Regional Commission. This organization might
comprise the following:-Australia, New Zealand, the United
Kingdom, France, United States, and it is suggested that its
function would be-
(a) Arrangements for material development, including production,
finance, communications and marketing.

(b) Arrangements for co-ordination of health and medical services.

(c) Arrangements for maintenance of recognized standards of native
welfare in regard to labour conditions, participation of natives
in administration and social services, education, nutrition.

(d) Arrangements for collaboration in research-economic, social,

(e) Presentation of a periodical report to an appropriate
international body (e.g., the I.L.O. in labour questions).

(f) Co-ordination of such arrangements in regard to local defence
as may be necessary in relation to the general security system in
the Pacific area.

It is suggested that the form, purposes, functions and
organization of a Regional Commission along the lines indicated in
the previous paragraph might be examined by a committee and a
scheme submitted at the earliest possible date.

Item No. 3 (e) of the Draft Agenda-'Migration'
39. It is possible that the policy pursued in both Dominions in
regard to Asiatic immigration will be challenged after the war by
Asiatic Governments. There is also reason to believe that there
are elements in public opinion in Britain and the United States
disposed to support the desire of Asiatic peoples for freer entry
into the Pacific Dominions. The question of refugees may also
present Australia and New Zealand with common problems. The
countries may also need to reach under standing on their mutual
interest in obtaining suitable types of European migrants.

40. It is submitted that Australian and New Zealand Governments
might agree that in the peace settlement or other negotiations the
two Governments will accord one another mutual support in
obtaining unequivocal recognition of the principle that each
Government has the right to control immigration and emigration in
regard to all territories under their jurisdiction.

41. It is submitted that migration should be considered not merely
from the negative but the positive aspect and that it is not too
early to discuss plans for migration to Australia and New Zealand
from Great
Britain and other European countries.

42. Agreement might be sought that the two Governments will
concert on questions relating to migration and that they will
exchange full information and render one another assistance in
matters concerning migration from the British Isles.

Item No. 3 (f) of the Draft Agenda-'Relations with Other Pacific
Powers' [12]

Procedure for international agreement for South-West Pacific and
Southern Pacific zones of security
43. The Australian Government proposes that there should be a
frank exchange of views on the problems of security, post-war
developments and native welfare, between properly accredited
representatives of the Governments interested in the South and
South-West Pacific Region, comprising Australia, New Zealand, the
United Kingdom, the United States, Netherlands, France and
Portugal and that the Australian Government should take the
necessary steps to summon a conference of the Governments

Item No. 4 of the Draft Agenda-'Machinery for Collaboration,
including Exchange of Information'
44. It is submitted that, as the final act of the discussions at
the conference, arrangements should be made for improved
collaboration between the two Governments.

45. To this end it is proposed that an agreement, designed to
serve the following objectives, be entered into by the two
(a) joint defence, secured through continuous consultation on all
defence matters; by staff collaboration, uniform training and
standard equipment; and by an agreed peace-time plan under which
responsibilities for munitions and supply would be shared between
the two countries;

(b) collaboration in external policy on all matters affecting the
peace, welfare and good government of the Pacific; this
collaboration to be secured through exchange of information and
frequent ministerial consultation;

(c) the development of commerce between the two countries and
their industrial development, such objectives to be pursued by
consultation and, in agreed cases, by joint planning;

(d) co-operation in achieving full employment in both countries
and the highest standards of social security both within their
borders and throughout the Pacific Islands and other territories
for which they may be wholly or partly responsible. In regard to
the islands and territories of the Pacific, co-operation in
encouraging missionary work directed towards the improvement of
the welfare of the native peoples.

46. It is suggested that any such agreement should be of such a
form as to make it possible for other countries of the Pacific to
adhere to it.

47. As indicated, the method to be used for achieving the
objectives of the agreement will be consultation, exchange of
information and in some cases, joint planning. This method could
be applied in the form of-
(a) conferences of Ministers of State to be held in Canberra and

(b) conferences of departmental officers and technical experts;

(c) standing inter-governmental committees on such subjects as
defence, migration, civil aviation;

(d) recognition of the special status of the two High

(e) procedure for regular exchange of information;

(f) exchange of officials; and
(g) the development of common institutions (e.g., military staff
schools, cultural and research institutions).

48. As a first step towards the achievement of 47 (g) above, the
establishment of a School or Institute of Pacific Studies at
Canberra has been suggested.

49. To ensure continuous collaboration along the lines of
paragraph 47 and to attend to the secretarial duties involved, it
is suggested that a permanent Secretariat should be established.

It is suggested that the main functions of this Secretariat would
(a) to make arrangements, as the occasion arose, for the holding
of the conference or meetings referred to above;

(b) to carry out the directions of such conferences in regard to
further consultation, exchange of information or the examination
of particular questions;

(c) to co-ordinate all forms of collaboration between Australia
and New Zealand.

50. It is submitted that, for convenience the Secretariat should
be established alternately, for a two years' period each in the
respective Departments of External Affairs at Canberra and at
Wellington, and that officers of the other Government should be
attached to it in turn. It is considered that such an arrangement
would prove more efficient than to attempt to establish a joint
secretariat with a separate staff not directly responsible to any
executive authority. The Secretariat would work in closest
consultation with the High Commissioner resident in the capital
where it was established.

51. Arrangements might be made at the conference for the holding
of further talks. It is suggested that a good purpose could be
served if representatives of Australia and New Zealand could meet
in Wellington to discuss certain phases of the post-war economic
interests of the two countries. Such a conference might cover-
(a) the position of Australia and New Zealand in relation to
current international discussions of economic issues;

(b) the post-war development of Australian and New Zealand trade
and industry, including the future of war industries in both
countries, and the possibility of joint action with regard to the
development of whaling;

(c) domestic planning for the re-settlement of soldiers and
munition workers, housing projects and social welfare works

52. In addition to the suggestions made above, it is probable that
the decisions of the conference may lead immediately to further
opportunities for collaboration. For example, it may be considered
desirable after a discussion of Armistice preparations and
arrangements under Item 3A of the Agenda to set up something in
the nature of a Post-Hostilities Planning Committee, through which
the views of the two Governments regarding Armistice terms and
provisional administration in co-occupied territories post
Armistice period could be correlated. On Item A 'Security', it may
be found desirable to provide for the joint examination of certain
proposals or for the drawing up of joint plans. It is submitted
that, if such ad hoc action is taken, it will strengthen the case
in favour of the early creation of the permanent Secretariat
proposed in paragraph 5 above as an essential part of an
Australian New Zealand Agreement for Collaboration.

1 Except for the addition of items on aviation and migration, the
agenda was as published in Documents on Australian Foreign Policy
1937-49, vol. VI, Document 346.

2 A fuller version of annexe A is published as an Enclosure to
Document 6.

3 The report, dated 23 December 1943, (on file AA:A2671, 381/1943)
was submitted on 21 January to War Cabinet, whence it was referred
to a subcommittee of Full Cabinet, but appears thereafter to have
lapsed. See also War Cabinet minute 3284, and notes of 28 March, 2
and 21 June and 24 August, on the file cited above.

4 Presumably a reference to resolutions (ii) and (iv) of the
Imperial Conference 1937, E(37)34, in AA:A4640, 41.

5 i.e. item 3(c) in the draft agenda referred to in note 1.

6 See cablegram 1528 to the Legation in Washington, dispatched 23
December 1943. On file AA:A816, 14/301/257.

7 On file AA:A989, 44/735/168/3.

8 See cablegram 173 to Bruce of 27 November 1943 and Bruce's reply
in cablegram 229[A] of2 December 1943. On file AA:A5954, box 603.

9 Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. VI,
Document 341.

10 Professor of Anthropology, University of Sydney.

11 On file AA:A989, 43/735/168.

12 i.e. item 3(d) in the draft agenda referred to in note i.

[AA:A989, 43/735/168]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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