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132 Department of External Affairs to Posts

Cablegram unnumbered CANBERRA, 10 November 1949, 7.45 p.m.

The following was released to the Press 7 p.m. E.S.T. 10th


'A meeting of representatives and officials of the United Kingdom,
New Zealand and Australian Governments commenced today at
Canberra, and at six o'clock adjourned until tomorrow. Dr. Evatt
presided, and it was attended by the Right Hon. EJ. Williams, High
Commissioner for the United Kingdom, Mr. M.E. Dening, Head of the
Far Eastern Department of the United Kingdom Foreign Office, Mr.

A.D. McIntosh, Secretary of the New Zealand Department of External
Affairs, Mr. F.K. Officer, Australian Ambassador to China, Mr. P.

Shaw, British Commonwealth Representative on the Allied Control
Council for Japan, Dr. J.W. Burton, Secretary of the Australian
Department of External Affairs, and Mr. L.R. McIntyre, Head of the
Pacific Division, Australian Department of External Affairs.

The discussions were based upon the accepted understanding that
there shall be full prior consultation between all Members of the
British Commonwealth, and as far as possible a common action by
the nations of the British Commonwealth acting in concert with the
United States of America.

The meeting was given full reports of recent discussions which
took place in Singapore between United Kingdom representatives in
South-East Asia, and also discussed matters of mutual concern to
the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, including the
situation in Japan, China, Malaya, Burma, Indonesia and South-East
Asia generally. These informal exchanges of views will be followed
by discussions between Departmental officers and Australian
representatives from South-East Asia, and it is expected they will
lead to a further stage in the development of Australia's long-
term policy in relation to the whole South-East Asian area.

Already the Australian Government has introduced relief,
scholarship schemes [1] and extended its representation. The
objective of policy is maximum economic development, higher living
standards, and the orderly growth of political autonomy and
democratic institutions throughout the area. This is regarded as
the best means of establishing a firm basis for lasting friendly
relations between Australia and the British Commonwealth nations
and the countries of South-East Asia. Australian commercial and
strategic interests depend on the maintenance and extension of
such friendly relations. Such relations are regarded as the best
bulwark against any extremist or disruptive developments.'

1See Document 155.

[AA:A1838/283, 381/3/1/2, 1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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