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97 Cablegram From Spender to Casey

Cablegram, Washington, 25 June 1951


Pacific Security arrangements.

Your 692[1] of 22nd June.

I had hoped it might be possible to postpone discussion with Dulles until later in the week but Dulles was anxious for early discussion so Berendsen and I saw him this morning.

2. Berendsen put the New Zealand Government's views of which you are aware[2]. Dulles replied that the United States was most anxious to retain the first part of the revised Article VIII since the reference to a more comprehensive regional security system in the Pacific and the United Nations would attract criticism in some quarters that ours was a White Man's Pact and was in fact devoted to meet views expressed by Foreign Affairs Committee. With regard to the second part of Article VIII Berendsen gave Dulles the text as contained in paragraph 2 of your 679[3]. Dulles's preliminary comment was that in lieu of the phrase 'may maintain' he was inclined to favour 'is authorized to maintain'. His reason for this amendment was to make it clear that the United States was not attempting to speak on behalf of the other Regional Organisations or States with whom the Council might consult. He asked that this amendment be referred to you for early comment. (Both Berendsen and I agreed privately that this amendment is an improvement).

3. I explained to Dulles that amendments to original draft treaty had not yet been considered by Cabinet but that Departmental thinking was along the lines of the amendment to second part of Article VIII as put forward by Berendsen.

4. Explaining that he was speaking without authorisation from the Secretary of State, Dulles said he thought that every effort should be made to reach prompt agreement on the draft treaty if possible by next week. What he had in mind was that the treaty might first be initialled and released to the press; the formal signature of the Document to take place at about the time of the signature of Japanese Peace Treaty. One reason for expediting a formal public statement on the treaty was the fear of trouble in Iran.[4] He thought it psychologically important to make a further step in the direction of collective security which might have a deterrent effect should any coup be contemplated in Iran. He thought that this aspect might appeal to Australia and New Zealand since our primary concern might be the Middle East, and, in the event of trouble there, we would want to have our rear firmly defended.

5. We now have an excellent opportunity to proceed to finality an opportunity which, I am sure you will agree, should be firmly seized. I would hope accordingly that United Kingdom views could be cleared immediately so that we can be in a position to inform Dulles this week of our concurrence in proposed draft treaty.

1 22 June. Casey advised Spender that McCarthy was seeking the earliest possible reply to the contents of Document 96 but that if this had not been received before Spender and Berendsen next saw Dulles, they should inform him that 'we felt it wise to give the United Kingdom an opportunity for comments and are only awaiting their reply'. Casey considered that 'there is still considerable misunderstanding to be cleared up with London in respect of the Pacific Pact and more generally'.

2 See Document 93 and note 2 thereto. Cablegram 130 (25 June) from Watt to McIntosh sought to clarify New Zealand's apparent misunderstanding of Australia's proposed redraft of Article VIII. Watt considered that the apparent misunderstanding may have been caused by the New Zealand Government's having interpreted Spender's suggested modification of Article VIII (see note 1 to Document 93) as constituting the whole of the new Article VIII rather than just the latter half of the text. Cablegram 115 (26 June) from Wellington replied that the New Zealand Government 'now heard from Berendsen of the outcome of the discussions with Dulles and for our part we are quite agreeable to accepting the amended clause with the repeated reference to the United Nations and a wider security agreement'.

3 20 June. It conveyed the text of Document 96.

4 Acheson released a statement on 27 June regretting that the Iranian Government was proceeding with the nationalisation of the oil industry in a manner which threatened 'to result in instability and economic distress within Iran'.

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