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Historical documents

61 Fraser to Evatt

Cablegram 39 WELLINGTON, 1 March 1944, 10.50 p.m.


Thank you for your telegram No. 34 [1] which I only received late
last night owing to delay arising from repetition of
indecypherable portions of the message.

I am glad to know you have been able to redraft the Canadian
clause in conformity with our common view point on Article 7 of
the Mutual Aid Agreement.

While at any other time I would be quite agreeable to publication
or to commenting on the exchange of Notes [2] I doubt the value of
doing so immediately and with[out] the prior information being
given to the United Kingdom and the United States Governments. In
view of the existing state of feeling on the part of the United
States authorities regarding the Canberra Agreement [3] it would
probably be unwise for us to announce publicly yet another
understanding which the Americans would regard as being totally at
variance with their views and interests in the post-war period.

They may very probably interpret our action as being directed
against them and be less willing for that reason to meet us on the
question of the Regional Conference.

The Americans are also aware of the Officials' conference on
postwar commercial policy now taking place in London and
publication of our agreed attitude on matters under discussion
which it would be reasonable to suppose our delegates would be
putting forward might lead to some degree of embarrassment in the
United Kingdom as well as in the United States of America. In any
case before publication is arranged I think the Notes should be
made available in advance to the United Kingdom and other Dominion
Governments and, if necessary, the United States Government should
also be informed. I see no reason, however, why you should not set
forth, in the course of your speech, the principles upon which we
have agreed as a statement of policy of your own Government [4],
and, if necessary, I will do the same in New Zealand.

I do, however, see some advantage for the reasons set out above in
not publicizing and emphasizing this week the fact that the two
Governments have come to an agreement in respect of these
principles. Glad to have your views and if you would show
Berendsen this message.


1 Document 58.

2 Documents 28 and 29.

3 Document 26.

4 On 17 March Evatt announced the signature of the Mutual Aid
Agreement with Canada, and outlined the Commonwealth Govt's five-
point approach to international economic collaboration, without
referring to the exchange of notes with the N.Z. Govt. See
Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, vol. 178, pp. 1554-6.

[AA:A989,43/125/5/6/1, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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