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Historical documents

53 Cablegram From Watt to Officer And Stirling

Cablegram, Canberra, 23 February 1951


Dulles Talks
Your telegram 53.[1]

Australian High Commissioner's Office, London, has been asked to transmit to Paris and The Hague urgently copies of -
(a) United Kingdom views regarding a possible 'island chain' security pact in the Pacific;

(b) Australian reply to these views;

(c) Draft tripartite Pacific security pact drawn up during the Dulles talks.

2. Commonwealth Government regards formal adoption of such a pact as of the first importance. The whole subject is most confidential, particularly (as you will see from the documents transmitted to you from London) in the light of the very strong opposition by the United Kingdom Government at least to any wide 'island chain' pact. It is our judgment that the French Government will probably oppose the conclusion of any such pact in which France or at least Indo-China is not included. For this reason, the information which is being transmitted to you should be used with the utmost caution. It should be regarded primarily as background to enable you to meet any objections which may be raised to the conclusion of such a pact and not as information to be put at the disposal of Government who may do their best to prevent it coming into existence.

1 Dated 21 February from Paris. It stated 'Would like to be in position to give France some information re Dulles talks'.

[NAA : A1838, TS250/7/10]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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