Skip to main content

Historical documents

58 Evatt to Fraser

Cablegram 34 CANBERRA, 28 February 1944

IMMEDIATE PERSONAL FROM EVATT TO FRASER SECRET

1. We have for many months been negotiating with Canada a Mutual
Aid Agreement. The negotiations have been protracted and at one
stage nearly broke down because the Canadian Government insisted
upon the inclusion of an article which read:

'The Government of Canada and . . . reaffirm their desire to
promote mutually advantageous economic relations between their
countries and throughout the world. They declare that their
guiding purposes include the adoption of measures designed to
promote employment, the production and consumption of goods and
the expansion of international commerce by the reduction of
tariffs and other trade barriers with the object of contributing
to the attainment of all the economic objectives set forth in the
Declaration of 14th August, 1941, known as the Atlantic Charter.'

2. As a last minute attempt to reach agreement I said we would
accept this clause provided the 'full employment' interpretation
of Article VII of the U.K.-U.S.A. Agreement was either accepted by
Canada or suitably recorded in notes accompanying the Agreement.

[1]

3. The Canadian Government thereupon suggested that Article X be
amended by substituting for the words 'the expansion of
international commerce by the reduction of tariffs and other trade
barriers', the words 'the expansion of commerce through
appropriate international agreements on commercial policy'. [2]

4. We have agreed to this because it not only meets our case but
will help us in having accepted our interpretation of Article VII
of the U.K.-U.S.A. Agreement.

5. I wish to make a statement in the House during this week
announcing signature of the Canadian Agreement and I wish also to
take this opportunity to clear up once and for all any doubts
about Article VII of the United Kingdom - United States Mutual Aid
Agreement on which the above article of the Canadian Agreement is
based.

6. In the course of this statement I wish to set out the
principles upon which we agreed in our exchange of notes [3] and I
would regard it as a great advantage for our two countries to be
able to refer to these principles as the 'Australian - New Zealand
interpretation'. I should be grateful to receive your permission
to make a statement along these lines and suggest that you make a
comment on my statement or a statement simultaneously, thereby
associating our two countries with this particular interpretation
at the outset.

1 See Document 36.

2 See Document 46.

3 Documents 28 and 29.


[AA:A989, 43/125/5/6/1, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top