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86 Memorandum From Watt to Shedden

Memorandum, Canberra, 30 April 1951


Pacific Security Arrangements.

On 23rd April, 1951, the Australian Ambassador in Washington was instructed to advise the State Department that we had noted with satisfaction the statement[1] by the President on 19th April, Mr. Truman's remarks at his press conference the same day, and the references in Mr. Acheson's address to the National Press Club on the subject of Pacific security arrangements.[2]

2. Mr. Makin was told to indicate that we were ready to consult with the appropriate United States authority at any time with a view to the preparation of the definitive text of an agreement. At the same time the Embassy was asked to discuss informally with Mr. John Allison, Special Assistant to Mr. John Foster Dulles, what the United States had in mind in this connection. It was pointed out that if, as suggested by Mr. Dulles, the United States would wish to propose only 'language revisions not affecting fundamentals' to the Canberra draft treaty,[3] it might be possible to complete the text quickly through normal diplomatic channels. On the other hand, the United States might prefer a special meeting for the preparation of a text and its signature. The Embassy has now reported that Mr. Dulles considers the immediate task is to reach agreement on a definitive text and that he thinks this can be done though normal diplomatic channels. Mr. Dulles hopes shortly to have further talks with the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff. He does not expect differences of substance will be raised by the Joint Chiefs, except perhaps on the second sentence of Article 8 of the Canberra draft. If differences in substance are encountered Mr. Dulles has undertaken to inform us immediately. As regards signature of the agreement, Mr. Dulles envisages that the treaty will be signed at the time of signature of the Japanese treaty or approaching that time.

3. Apparently the United States Chiefs of Staff have some doubts about the final sentence of Article 8. They feel that it is too broad in that it seems to imply active participation in military planning under the Rio Pact and North Atlantic Treaty which would be impracticable and which in any event is beyond the power of the United States alone to assure.

4. Before his departure from Australia Mr. Spender advised Mr. Dulles that we did not regard the point raised in respect of Article 8 as a vital matter although we would, of course, wish to see the actual text of any proposed amendments and to reserve the right to make counter suggestions.

5. Since it now appears that, subject to relatively minor drafting changes, substantial agreement has been reached with the United States, we would appreciate advice as to any points on drafting which you would wish to raise, so that agreement on a definitive text may be reached at the earliest possible moment.

1 See editorial note - The Presidential Statement.

2 On 18 April Acheson gave an address on 'Our Far Eastern Policy' to the Women's National Press Club at Washington. For text see the Department of State Department Bulletin, 1951, vol. XXIV, pp. 683-7.

3 Document 50.

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