299 Gordon Walker to Australian Government
Cablegram 98 LONDON, 2 April 1948, 8.07 p.m.
Your telegrams No. 112 of 7th May and No. 234 of 28th August,
1947. Disposal of the Japanese fleet.
2. Now that all bids from British Commonwealth have been received
we wish to offer a share in the United Kingdom allocation to the
French and Netherlands Governments. We are already committed to do
so in the case of France. Our views on the moral claims of the
Netherlands to a share were set out in our telegram No. 361 of the
13th November, 1946.
3. In your telegram No. 112 Australian Government suggested that
any allocation of Japanese vessels to the Netherlands Government
should be small and should not include any vessel of offensive
value. We understand from informal conversations with the
Netherland authorities last year that they are only interested in
auxiliary vessels and possibly small patrol craft. In any event
the destroyers and escorts have been demilitarised and are
regarded by the Admiralty as of practically no offensive value.
4. We hope that in the circumstances Australian Government will
see no (repeat no) objection to a share in the United Kingdom
allocation being offered to the Netherlands Government.