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Historical documents

96 Cablegram From Casey to McCarthy

Cablegram, Canberra, 20 June 1951


Pacific Security Arrangements
Please inform United Kingdom Government that, during talks[1] between Spender and Dulles in Washington, Dulles, apparently at the insistence of United States Department of Defense, suggested the following revised text of the Canberra draft:-


The parties hereby establish a Council on which each of them shall be represented to consider matters concerning the implementation of this treaty. The Council should be so organised as to be able to meet promptly at any time.

Pending the development of a more comprehensive system of regional security in the Pacific Area and the development by the United Nations of effective means to maintain International Peace and Security the Council shall maintain a consultative relationship with states in a position to further the purposes of this treaty and to contribute to the security of the Pacific Area.


In doing so, Dulles explained that omission from proposed Article VII of specific reference to 'subsidiary bodies' did not preclude possibility of additional machinery being established ad hoc if this became necessary. As regards proposed redraft of Article VIII, Dulles said that United States did not wish the pact to involve any present commitment to combined Pacific planning with N.A.T.O. and the Rio Pact.

2. After consideration and consultation with New Zealand Government which is in complete agreement with our point of view, I propose to send the following message to Spender:-


In the circumstances I think we should accept revised version of Article VII.

As regards Article VIII, I agree we should continue to try to have at least a permissive reference in the treaty to possible consultation between the proposed Council and N.A.T.O. I would suggest for further discussion with Dulles, following slight variations of your proposed wording of latter half of his amended draft of Article VIII:-

'The Council established by Article VII may maintain a consultative relationship with states, regional organisations, associations of states, or other authorities in a position to further the purposes of this treaty and to contribute to the security of the Pacific Area'.

3. While Dulles's proposals for revised Article VII and VIII and our reply raise no new points of principle, and while I feel confident that United Kingdom will share the United States view that relationships between Pacific Council and bodies like N.A.T.O. should be permissive rather than mandatory, nevertheless, special interest United Kingdom has shown in regard to this matter makes it desirable, I think, to keep them advised.

4. For your background information, neither New Zealand nor we wish to encourage any suggestion that United Kingdom should put forward further modifications to Articles VII and VIII or any other articles. Please ascertain urgently whether the United Kingdom have any comments to make, as I wish to send instructions to Spender immediately.

5. Before conveying information to the United Kingdom, please show this telegram to McBride[2] explaining that we have been in touch with Department of Defence on the matter, which has noted our proposed reply to Spender and brought it to notice of Defence Committee. As no new points of principle appear to be involved, and as my proposed reply to Spender at least keeps open possibility of relationships between Pacific Council and N.A.T.O. etc., I assume that McBride will concur in immediate transmission of substance of this message to United Kingdom authorities.

1 See note 1 to Document 93.

2 McBride was then in London where he was attending the Commonwealth Conference of Defence Ministers that commenced on 21 June.

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