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331 Khare to Mackay

Letter [NEW DELHI], 28 October 1944


His Excellency the Viceroy [1] passed on to me the message [2] you
gave his Private Secretary [3] on 13th July, that the Commonwealth
Government would be very ready to negotiate with India an
agreement similar to that recently negotiated between the
Commonwealth Government and New Zealand. I have now had this
suggestion examined in the departments concerned including my own.

2. The Government of India would be very glad to establish closer
relations with the Commonwealth Government. India has greatly
admired Australia's industrial progress in the last decade, and as
you know we hope to make progress ourselves on the same lines, as
soon as the war ends. Indian agriculture is capable of great
development and here also we might learn from Australian
experience. There is, I am sure, much scope for the regular
exchange of information on industrial and agricultural matters and
on the connected scientific research and it might be possible to
arrange for an exchange of Australian and [Indian?] scientific
workers. There is also scope for the expansion of our trade

3. These matters could not, I think, be made the subject of a
full-dress conference at the present time, but I suggest you might
consider them, and I will instruct Sir Raghunath Paranjpye [4] to
take them up with the authorities concerned in Australia.

4. The Departments here have studied with great interest the heads
of the agreement between Australia and New Zealand. Our two
countries have obvious common interests in security and defence in
the East, and I understand that close contact between the fighting
services will be maintained. India would welcome an agreement on
these subjects, but future defence arrangements are uncertain, and
could at present be discussed by India only in consultation with,
and perhaps through, H.M.G. The same constitutional difficulty
applies to any discussion of the Armistice terms. other heads, for
example, those concerning Dependencies and territories in the
Pacific, the welfare and advancement of native peoples of the
Pacific, and security in the South West and South Pacific, are not
of direct interest to India. India is greatly interested both in
civil aviation and in migration, but civil aviation is already the
subject of an Empire conference to be followed by an international
conference. The number of Indians in Australia is at present small
and I should like to await the result of Sir Raghunath's
examination of the matter. Nor does it seem necessary to set up in
the immediate future a permanent secretariat or permanent
machinery for collaboration between our two Governments. For the
time being the two High Commissioners can, I suggest, maintain an
adequate liaison.

5. To sum up, I believe that there is great scope for closer
relations between Australia and India, especially for security and
defence and in industrial and agricultural matters, in scientific
research, and in the expansion of commerce. The material available
at present does not seem to justify a full-dress conference but
the Government of India would be very glad to consider the matter
after they have had the results of their High Commissioner's
examination of the proposal.


1 Lord Wavell.

2 Not located. In memorandum 2/44 of 8 February, Hodgson asked
Moodie, Official Secretary of the High Commission in New Delhi, to
'...informally explore the possibilities of an understanding
between the Governments of India and Australia similar to that
which exists between Australia and New Zealand'. Moodie advised on
10 November, in memorandum DEL 197/44, that Mackay had had several
informal discussions with members of the Govt of India on such an
agreement and had supplied copies of the Australian - New Zealand
Agreement (Document 26). Both memoranda are on file AA:A989,

3 Sir Evan Jenkins.

4 Indian High Commissioner in Australia.

[AA:A989, 43/735/762/2]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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