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5 Extract From Dispatch 2/49 From Makin to Spender

Extract, Washington, 23 December 1949

6. Pacific Security
The present United States policy appears to be one of no further implication in regional pacts. Secretary of State Acheson's remarks in May, 1949[1] regarding the United States unwillingness to enter into a Pacific pact have not since been added to or altered. In informal discussions with the State Department on this topic the view has been expressed that the Secretary of State's comment is final, that the United States' entry into the North Atlantic Treaty was as great a divergence from the traditional United States policy as the United States public is prepared to accept for some time to come. It was further pointed out that the basis of such a defensive alliance was that the strength of the whole should be greater than the strength of the parts. The State Department feels that a Pacific pact might well result in a weakening of the United States as a result of the extension of its responsibilities without the addition of any substantial military strength.

It should be pointed out, however, that United States policy with regard to the Pacific and the Far East is till in a state of flux. It appears that the despatch of Jessup[2] to the Far East is as much in order to gain time as to seek information for the Department of State. Furthermore, it is reasonably certain that when Congress resumes the Administration will be strongly attacked by the Republican Party and possibly by some members of the Democratic Party with regard to its lack of policy in the Far East. The next few months will therefore be a period in which such influence as the Australian Government is able to exert upon the formation of the United States policy in the Far East and the Pacific would be most effective. This might be exerted either by means of representations to the United States Government or by means of statements made by yourself for which appropriate publicity could be sought here.

1 See Document 3.

2 Philip C. Jessup, United States Ambassador at large.

[NAA : A1838, 532/4, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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