131 Burton to Shedden
Memorandum CANBERRA, 7 November 1949
As you are aware the Government is faced with a number of problems
current in the Pacific and South-East Asia area, notably its
relations with the new regime in China, the prospects of a
Japanese Peace Treaty, the future development of the United States
of Indonesia and other related problems.
The Minister accordingly proposes that there should be a series of
discussions in Canberra, commencing towards the end of this week,
with representatives of the United Kingdom and New Zealand
Governments. The United Kingdom authorities have been consulted
and have agreed to a visit to Australia by Mr. Dening, in charge
of South-East Asian affairs in the Foreign Office, who has just
attended the Conference of United Kingdom Diplomatic and Service
representatives in Singapore. The Prime Minister of New Zealand
has also indicated that he would welcome the opportunity for Mr.
McIntosh, Secretary of the New Zealand Department of External
Affairs, to be present at these discussions.
Australian diplomatic and senior consular representatives in the
area have accordingly been requested to come to Canberra, if
possible by Thursday, 10th November. Mr. Officer, the Australian
Ambassador to the Nationalist Government of China, is at the
moment on his way to Sydney from Singapore, accompanied by Mr.
Dening, and it is expected that they will be in Canberra next
Wednesday, 9th November.
The Minister feels that it will be useful on all counts if the
Departments most concerned with developments in the area are able
to take advantage of the presence in Australia of the above
representatives of the United Kingdom and New Zealand Governments
and of this Department. I therefore hope that it will be possible
for you to arrange for one or more members of your Department to
be present during the discussion of aspects in which your
Department is interested.
I have accordingly suggested that we set aside Monday, 14th
November, and Tuesday, 15th November, for discussions with
representatives of other Departments and would propose that
discussions of matters affecting your Department might
appropriately take place on Monday morning, 14th November,
possibly extending into the afternoon.
[AA:A1838/283, 381/3/1/2, i]