Skip to main content

Historical documents

112 Cablegram From Casey to Spender

Cablegram, Canberra, 29 August 1951


Three power security treaty. Publicity. Your 1460.[1]

It is unnecessary to suggest in detail what you should include in your statements at the signature ceremony or at formal dinner or to the press. You are thoroughly familiar with the policy of the Government on this question. There are however two related matters on which it may be desirable to make some comment.

2. During my recent tour of East and South East Asia I was questioned on several occasions as to the possibility that the treaty might be extended to include other countries. My reply was that it was hard to predict the future and that we in Australia preferred to move one step at a time. It was natural and logical that Australia, New Zealand and the United States which had fought together and worked together so closely in the past should enter into a security arrangement. Whether or not such a pact will ever be extended depends on many factors. Some countries would appear to prefer not to become parties to a regional arrangement like this. Others appear to show some interest in possible extension of the pact to include them. All sorts of factors would have to be taken into account in the light of the particular circumstances of the time.

3. It may however be desirable to be more specific on the question of the Philippines. The Government of course warmly welcomes the conclusion of the security treaty between the Philippines and the United States as having the same general purpose as the three power agreement. It should not be necessary to comment on the fact that the Philippines has not been included in the three power treaty but if questioned you might take the line that we regard the Philippines as having a special relationship with the United States somewhat similar to that between the United Kingdom and other members of the British Commonwealth. While the Philippines and the United States do not have the formal link of the Crown they are closely linked by history, tradition and community of ide[a]s.

4. Another question which may arise is whether any steps are to be taken to prepare for the meeting of the council. The council cannot of course be formally established until the treaty has been ratified by all three governments. You could say that the Australian Government hopes to complete ratification at an early date. As regards preparatory work you might take this opportunity to discuss with Dulles and Berendsen the possibility of having a working party meet in Washington to prepare an agendum for the first meeting of the council.[2]

1 15 August. Spender informed Menzies that Truman wished the Security Treaty to be given maximum publicity and that Rusk had suggested that the signing ceremony should take place at 3.30 p.m. San Francisco time on 1 September, followed by a reception and formal dinner.

2 Spender replied by Cablegram SF 24 from San Francisco (30 August) that 'I have drafted my speech for the ceremony on signing in light of your observations which I will of course also bear in mind when dealing with the press, some of whom I have agreed to see this afternoon'.

[NAA : A5460, 217/6, iii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top