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Historical documents

129 Moodie to Wiadrowski

Memorandum CANBERRA, 23 June 1949


I have received and perused a copy of J.I.C. Appreciation No. 5
regarding 'Implications of the Spread of Communism in China'. [1]

2. As you are aware, I was not able to be present during the
discussion of this Appreciation, but feel that I should place on
record our departmental attitude. The views of this Department on
problems in China and South East Asia were set out in an
Appreciation [2] prepared last September and transmitted to the
Minister for Defence in October which subsequently reached members
of the J.I.C. In the light of the observations in that
Appreciation it is clearly impossible for this Department, or its
representative on the Joint Intelligence Committee, to agree with
the reasoning and conclusions as set out in J.I.C. Appreciation
No. 5. As it is the primary responsibility of this Department to
give political judgments on foreign affairs, if the Joint
Intelligence Committee disagrees with our views as earlier
expressed and prepares an Appreciation containing different
political judgments, I feel that this fact should be clearly
stated in the introduction.

3. I, therefore, suggest that an addendum should be inserted in
the introduction to the effect that the Appreciation does not
reflect the views of the Department of External Affairs, and that
this fact be specifically brought to the notice of the Defence
Conunittee. [3]

1 Moodie's copy was annotated 'preliminary' and dated 22 June
1949. The object of the appreciation was stated to be 'To review
the effect on South East Asia of the spread of Communism in China
including an estimate of the probable form and scale of attack on
South East Asia and Australia in the light of the recent Communist
successes in China'. The preliminary draft was subsequently
rearranged and the object altered to reduce the political
inference therein. For the final version see Document 130.

2 Document 121, Attachment thereto.

3 On 4 July 1949 Moodie informed Button that the Joint
Intelligence Committee had advised the Defence Committee of the
Department's disagreement with its conclusions. Button annotated
Moodie's minute with the words: 'No action. By the time it sees
light of day there will be substantial changes in UK-US policy.'

[AA:A1068/7, DL47/5/1A]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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