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341 Drakeford to Evatt

Cablegram 5 CHICAGO, 8 November 1944, 11.28 p.m.


For Evatt from Drakeford.

Thanks for your message from New Zealand to myself and the
Delegation through Watt. [1] What you have said will be borne in
mind but some of the matters mentioned are, of course, outside the
scope of this Conference.

Dealing specifically with the points mentioned I may say-
(a) This Conference will not in any way preclude any inter-
Commonwealth arrangement we may wish to entertain. [2] No
decisions were taken on this subject at Montreal and it may be
that there will be further Commonwealth discussions when the
Chicago Conference is over. One of the points agreed at Wellington
was that an endeavour should be made to secure agreement for
operation through the medium of a joint operating authority
representative of all Commonwealth countries of all international
routes which may be allotted to Empire countries. This was not
acceptable to Canada and South Africa too expressed disagreement.

An endeavour was made by others to induce Australia to merge in a
single authority for operation of England - Australia - New
Zealand service but we refused to agree to this. We shall,
therefore, still retain our rights to operate as far as Singapore
and there is a suggestion that we may naturally wish to operate
through to London in parallel with B.O.A.C.

(b) and (c) The arrangement at Montreal provided for full
participation by Australia in the United Kingdom - Australia
military service as regards staff, crews and ground facilities but
Bowhill [3], Ferry Command, emphasised that this service was to be
regarded as a unified rather than a sectional service. As you may
be aware the service is already operating.

(d) We shall, of course, fight hard to secure representation on
the interim Council but many other countries too wish to be
represented. The United States proposal provides only two
representatives for the British Commonwealth as a whole out of a
total of 15 and if this provision is adopted by the Conference,
Australia's hope lies only in being accepted as one of the
Commonwealth representatives. In this respect Canada would be our
chief rival but Australia can claim to have been an international
operator before the war whereas Canada was not, and Australia's
record in trans-ocean flying during the war is equally as good if
not better than Canada's.

I have noted your advice regarding Eggleston's assistance [4] and
will not hesitate to avail myself of his services whenever

1 Cablegram unnumbered, dispatched 6 November. On file AA:A989,
44/735/832/12. The Australian Delegation was led by Drakeford and
included McVey, Hodgson and Johnston, with H. R. Adam and W. L.

Ellis of the Dept of Civil Aviation as Advisers.

2 Evatt had expressed fear of '...some intention to reduce
Australian control and operation of sections of Empire services
even as compared with pre-war position whereby we had the full
control and operation of route between Singapore and Australia'.

3 Air Chief Marshal Sir Frederick Bowhill, Commander-in-Chief,
R.A.F. Transport Command.

4 Evatt had suggested that Eggleston might raise with Hull any
matters on which difficulties were being experienced with Berle.

[AA:A989, 44/735/832/13]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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