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262 Bruce to Curtin

Cablegram 109 LONDON, 28 August 1944, 6.50 p.m.

PERSONAL SECRET

(Addressed to the Prime Minister, Mr. Curtin.)
Dominions Office Telegram D.1195. [1]

While it is obviously desirable there should be a greater measure
of co-operation in regard to Defence, I have considerable doubt as
to whether the method suggested in Dominions Office telegram would
achieve satisfactory results and also whether, from our Australian
point of view, we would be wise to agree to this matter being
referred to a meeting of Service representatives.

In your statement at the Prime Ministers' Conference [2], you
said, with regard to Defence, 'the position of individual
Dominions varies so greatly that it would seem desirable to avoid
attempting to establish a uniform system of co-operation'. The
contemplated meeting would have this very objective of
establishing a uniform system of co-operation, of which the
measure would be the point to which the least cooperative Dominion
would be prepared to go. At the moment, our contacts are much
closer and more intimate than those of any of the other Dominions.

As a result of the conversations I had with you and Shedden and
Blamey in London, I understand that we are hoping to go still
further by establishing contacts on the lower levels, e.g., joint
planners.

I feel very strongly that the course suggested by the Dominions
Office would not tend to facilitate the closer and more intimate
contacts, but would tend to diminish those which we have already
established by placing our relations on a formalised basis
acceptable to all the Dominions.

I suggest, for your consideration, that, in replying to the
Dominions Office telegram, you should, while welcoming the idea of
closer cooperation in the sphere of Defence, indicate that, owing
to circumstances of the individual Dominions varying so greatly,
you consider it would be more effective if bilateral discussions
of an informal character were undertaken in the first place
between the United Kingdom and each of the Dominions, leaving
question of multilateral conversations for decision in future in
light of results of these individual discussions.

BRUCE

1 Document 257.

2 Document 152.


[AA:A5954, BOX 6]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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