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209 McVey to Bruce

Cablegram 110 [1] WASHINGTON, 1 July 1944

For Bruce from McVey. Begins.

Sir Owen Dixon and I had informal talks with Berle on June 22nd as
desired by Prime Minister before he left America. Berle stated
Joint Australia - New Zealand proposals for internationalization
were unacceptable to United States Administration as was also
Canadian plan. [2] Russia, too, was stated to be opposed to
internationalization. Talks with Chinese are now going on. In
Berle's opinion, only those countries which had been overrun or
those Nations in which aircraft industries were nonexistent or
poorly developed would favour internationalization. Those Nations
on the other hand whose aircraft industries had become highly
developed on account of wartime needs and who would have
responsibilities for maintaining the peace would be found opposing
internationalization. The United States which had become the
largest aircraft producing Nation in the world wished to retain
the largest possible nucleus of this industry to enable her to
play her part with other United Nations, in the peace and also
because a virile' aircraft industry is essential for the
strategical defence of the United States and her territories.

Berle laid great emphasis on public and congressional opinion as
being opposed to submitting American interests to an International
body of uncertain composition and trends or affiliations. He made
repeated references to the example of the Mercantile Marine in
which United States trade was carried in other bottoms. He
instanced Norway whose Mercantile Marine was a feature of her
national economy. Berle stated that before the war United States
airline operators carried 80% of the external air commerce of the
world and Congress would be adverse to any arrangements which
would tend to reduce the volume of air commerce which Congress
considers should rightly be carried in aircraft operated by United
States carriers.

In answer to a question Berle expressed the opinion that the best
that he would expect from the proposed United Nations conference
would be freedom of transit, right of technical stop, right of
participation in commercial traffic on an equitable basis whilst
conceding cabotage rights, and agreement on a bottom level for
passenger and freight rates with authority to fix higher rates in
special circumstances such as faster schedules, more comfort in
travelling, etc. He expressed the view that the powers of any
international authority which may be established would be limited
to prescribing by common consent safety and operating standards,
standardisation of air navigation communication and meteorological
facilities and such matters of common concern in the interests of
uniform or co-ordinated operation. Statistical data would
doubtlessly be supplied by all Nations to International Authority
for the information of those participating in international
operation. Gradually the powers of the International Authority
might be built up in the light of experience but in the early
stages the most that could be hoped for from the United Nations
would be agreement on certain broad principles.

Routes and Schedules. Berle considered could be arranged by
bilateral or multilateral agreements between countries.

Berle's views should, I suggest, provide a spur to British
authorities to push ahead with some Commonwealth and Empire
agreements on Inter Empire routes and to make an announcement of
intention at earliest possible moment. Ends.

1 Sent through the Legation in Washington,
2 See Document 165, note 6.

3 A sign here indicated 'query'.

[AA:M100, JULY 1944)
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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