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29 Aide-Memoire From Embassy in Washington to Department of State

[Washington], 11 January 1951


The Australian Government would appreciate consideration by the Government of the United States of the following matters.

On several occasions during the months of September, October and November 1950, the Australian Minister for External Affairs, the Honourable P. C. Spender, discussed the Australian Government's views in relation to a Pacific Pact with the President of the United States, the Secretary of State, the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs and the Consultant to the Secretary of State, Mr. John Foster Dulles. Subsequently, after consultation with the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, Mr. Spender delivered a statement[1] in the Australian House of Representatives on 28th November, 1950, in which he set forth the Australian Government's views on this matter and referred to the discussions which had taken place on this subject during his visit to the United States of America. (Copy of Mr. Spender's statement is attached for ease of reference.)
It will be recalled that the following two aspects were elaborated in Mr. Spender's statement of 28th November:

(a) That the Australian Government was anxious that there should be mutual defence obligations for the Pacific area, under some form of regional pact, which would include at least the United States and Australia, and
(b) The Australian Government was desirous of the creation of an organic link between Australia and other regional security organisations which would permit the direct participation by Australia in discussions of global strategy which indirectly affect Australia's interests and commitments.

It will also be recalled that representatives of the United States Government, in their conversation with Mr. Spender, agreed to explore the possibilities of attaining the objectives which Mr. Spender had put forward concerning a regional pact and the creation of an organic link between Australia and other regional security organisations.[2]

The Australian Government would be grateful to know whether the United States Government is yet in a position to give its reaction to the proposals which were put forward by the Australian Minister for External Affairs on these matters.

1 The text of the statement is given in Current Notes, vol. 21, 1950, pp. 796-807. The section of the statement about co-operation with the United States contained the text conveyed to Washington in Document 26 except that the words '[t]he matter is presently being explored by the United States of America' were omitted. Instead Spender expressed himself as 'not without hope that at a comparatively early date it will be found possible to embody into formal machinery an acceptable solution of this important problem'.

2 See Document 25.

[NAA : A5460, 217/6, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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