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Historical documents

198 Department of External Affairs to Evatt

Submission CANBERRA, 15 June 1944


Attached is a report [2] on the matters raised in Mr. D'Alton's
despatch No. 44/1/38 of 28th May. [3]

The report consists of comment on Mr. D'Alton's despatch;

suggestions for action requested by the Minister are made
separately in the present submission.


(a) Delegations Abroad
Mr. D'Alton raises the question whether the maximum degree of
unity in the presentation of the agreed Australian - New Zealand
attitude was achieved at the I.L.O. Conference and in the talks in
London on primary products. (See Report attached.)
In another despatch (44/1/39 of 1st June [4]) he suggests, if
there were to be a joint approach to Washington on full
employment, efforts should be made to secure complete and detailed
prior agreement on an agenda and instructions to delegates.

It is submitted that-
1. The suggestion in despatch 44/1/39 (above) be adopted as a
general rule to be carried out wherever possible, e.g., in
connection with the forthcoming Monetary Conference.

2. To this end the Australian - New Zealand Secretariat, Canberra,
be immediately and fully informed of decisions and arrangements
concerning special missions abroad.

3. Telegrams to delegations abroad be so drafted as to permit
automatic repetition to Prime Minister, New Zealand, personal
messages and comment not suitable for repetition to New Zealand
being sent separately to the delegations. (This would greatly
facilitate the work of keeping the N.Z. Government informed,
especially when time is an important factor.)
(b) Ministerial Conferences and Visits of Officials
Mr. D'Alton emphasises the desirability of implementing Clause
37(a) of the Agreement, and suggests ministerial conferences in
connection with island territories, joint planning of industrial
development, and monetary and marketing problems.

He believes that a formal conference of Ministers could not be
held in Wellington until towards the end of the year, but urges a
visit meanwhile by at least one Australian Minister.

Mr. D'Alton further suggests (e.g. in regard to dependent
territories) that preparatory exploration by means of exchanges of
visits by officials would be useful.

It is learned that the Minister for Trade & Customs proposes to
visit New Zealand towards the end of June to discuss questions
relating to the Commonwealth Export Committee [5], Price Control
and Rationing.

It is submitted that-
4. The proposal for a Ministerial visit to New Zealand (despatch
44/1/6 of 14th Feb. from Wellington [6], referred to the Dept. of
Post-War Reconstruction) be further considered with a view to an
early visit to N.Z. by the Minister for Post-War Reconstruction.

In addition to questions of supply and exchange of housing
materials attention might be given to means of implementing Clause
35(c) ('industrial consultation and, in agreed
cases, by joint planning') and 35(d) (full employment and social

4.a. As a preliminary step the examination of Clause 35(a), (c)
(d) by the Secondary Industries Committee be continued.

5. At an appropriate stage an Australian Minister or Ministers
visit Wellington to discuss means of implementing Clauses 28-31
'Welfare and Advancement of Native Peoples of the Pacific' and
Clause 35(b) which reads:-

'Collaboration in external policy on all matters affecting the
peace, welfare and good government of the Pacific should be
secured through the exchange of information and frequent
ministerial consultation.'

6. In these discussions Clause 34 (International Conference on
Security, Development and Welfare) should be in mind.

7. As a preliminary step there might be held a conference of
Australian officials concerned with Pacific Dependencies (External
Territories, External Affairs, Army Directorate of Research
L.H.Q., and other departments when necessary) to report on means
of implementing Clauses 28-31 and 35(d) of the Agreement-'Welfare
and Advancement of Native Peoples of the Pacific'.

8. The New Zealand Government be informed of this step and invited
to arrange for a similar preliminary examination, and for exchange
of results of these inquiries.

9. At an appropriate stage an Australian Minister or Ministers
visit N.Z. for discussions on Security and Defence preparatory to
the holding of the international conference contemplated in
Article 34.

10. As a preliminary step officials of the Australian Departments
of External Affairs and Defence enter into exploratory
consultation on Clauses 13 and 25 'Security and Defence' and 35(a)
'Co-operation for Defence', with a view to the compilation of data
for the Ministerial discussions suggested under (8) above.

11. Endeavours be made to arrange for the discussions on Defence
and Dependencies to be held in Wellington at the same time,
preferably, as Mr. D'Alton suggests, towards the close of the
year. Other subjects, for example, economic and reconstruction
questions, might meanwhile arise which could conveniently be
discussed at that time. Such a full Ministerial conference would
no doubt be welcomed by the New Zealand Government and it would
confirm and advance the purposes of the Australian - New Zealand

12. The New Zealand Government be informed of such of the
proposals 4 to 11 above as may be approved by the Minister and
invited to express views upon them.

While recognising that a considerable amount of information is
being exchanged, Mr. D'Alton is not satisfied that the fullest
exchange of information and ideas on commercial questions and on
Pacific Dependencies is taking place.

So far as Australian action is concerned this has been due largely
to inadequacy of machinery.

The new Commonwealth Export Committee may prove to be a focal
point of information on commercial questions. In any case such
information of interest to both Australia and New Zealand might be
obtained by External Affairs officers dealing with economic
matters and forwarded through the Secretariat.

In regard to Pacific Dependencies, neither the Pacific Section of
the Department nor the Secretariat is as yet adequately staffed.

Proposals have been submitted to the Minister, and if these are
approved, the collection and transmission of information will be
properly conducted.

It is submitted that-
13. The officers of the Department of External Affairs dealing
with economic matters be responsible for continuous collection and
regular presentation of information on commercial and economic
matters involving both Australia and New Zealand, to be forwarded
through the Secretariat to Wellington.

14. The Pacific Section of the Department of External Affairs be
responsible for continuous collection and regular presentation of
information on all aspects of Pacific Islands affairs, to be
forwarded through the Secretariat to Wellington.

Post-Hostilities Planning Proposal for a Planning organisation in
External Affairs Dept. is under consideration. [7] See submission
15 below.

Defence and Security See submission 10 above.

Dependencies " " " 7 " .

Joint Planning of Industrial Development See Report (annexed,
paragraphs 10-13) and submission 4 and 4(a) above.

Pacific Supply See Report (annexed, paragraph 11).

Commercial Relations See submission 16 below.

It is submitted that-
15. When the Australian planning organisation is constituted, full
information be conveyed to the New Zealand Government through the
Secretariat, and the New Zealand Government be invited to state
what action has been taken or is proposed in New Zealand and as
soon as circumstances permit to enter into arrangements for the
co-ordination of planning envisaged in Clause 11 of the Agreement.

16. The question of an Australian interdepartmental committee to
consider all aspects of commercial relations with New Zealand be
considered by the External Affairs Department in relation to the
work of the Commonwealth Export Committee, particularly whether
such interdepartmental committee is necessary or whether the
functions suggested in Mr. D'Alton's despatch (44/1/38 of 18th May
paragraphs 10-12) would properly be performed by the Export
Committee. [8]

1 Document 26.

2 Not published.

3 Document 155.

4 On file AA:A989, 44/1320/13/3.

5 An interdepartmental committee established by Full Cabinet on 10
May. Its main purpose was to consider applications for supplies
(excluding food and assignable munitions) from the Eastern Group
Supply Council, New Zealand, Netherlands East Indies, and later,
U.N.R.R.A. See S. J. Butlin and C. B. Schedvin, War Economy 1942-
1945, Australian War Memorial, Canberra, 1977, pp. 748-52.

6 In AA:A4231, Wellington, 1943-44.

7 See Document 173.

8 This submission bore the inscription: 'H. V. E. Generally

[AA:A989, 44/630/5/1/11/4]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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