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23 Memorandum From McNicol to Officer

Memorandum, Washington, 31 October 1950

The Minister has requested that you convey his compliments to Sir Carl Berendsen and express his regrets for not seeing Sir Carl before he left New York, and also to inform him in general terms of the Minister's conversation with Rusk and Dulles yesterday.

The Minister has suggested the following approach:

(a) Sir Carl is already aware that the Minister has pressed the United States for a reaction to his proposal for a Pacific Pact. We understand that Mr. Doidge also raised this point with Dulles during his conversations on the Japanese peace settlement. Corner,[1] of the New Zealand delegation, was given a brief verbal summary of the Minister's conversation with Hickerson at which you were present.

(b) Yesterday Rusk and Dulles called on the Minister and had a frank talk on the Pacific Pact. Rusk referred to the U.S. objections to a full-scale Pacific Pact; namely, that a Pacific Pact would exclude the countries on the Asian mainland and perhaps be interpreted by these countries as their abandonment to Communism. He did, however, say that the United States Government would like to see Australia's security guaranteed and that they were sympathetic with our contention that we should have some voice in the determination of global strategy in view of the fact that we were expected to make troops available in the event of war.

(c) He wished to inform the Minister that the United States Government was not unsympathetic to our desire for a U.S. security guarantee and that the U.S. Government would make a genuine effort to explore the matter with a view to finding a formula whereby the U.S. could come to our assistance if we were attacked. Rusk stressed that he was in no way able to make any commitment on behalf of the U.S. Government but that he did want us to know our difficulties were not being overlooked.

(d) The Minister gained the impression that the Americans were sincere in their wish to have a closer security link with Australia. Rusk's whole attitude was very sympathetic.

(e) Rusk asked the Minister whether it was his understanding that a commitment by the United States in the South Pacific region would include New Zealand. The Minister said he was unable to speak on behalf of the New Zealand Government but that he understood that Mr. Doidge's and his own thinking were identical on this point. Australia would certainly not wish New Zealand to be excluded from any American commitment.

(f) As Mr. Doidge has already raised the question of a Pacific Pact with the United States Government, it seems likely that Rusk will take an opportunity to talk to Sir Carl on this matter.

1 F. H. Corner, First Secretary, New Zealand Embassy, Washington.

[NAA : A1838, 532/11, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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