127 Mr F.K. Officer, Australian Counsellor at U.K. Embassy in Washington, to Lt Col. W.R. Hodgson, Secretary of Department of External Affairs

Letter (extract) OTTAWA, 2 August 1939

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL

I have spent the afternoon at the Department of External Affairs.

Skelton [1] is away on leave and I have seen Dr Beaudry, his second-in-command, as you will realise a French Canadian, and also Loring Christie and Norman Robertson, his principal assistants. I found them anxious to know something about the Australian views on the situation in the Pacific and anxious lest the United Kingdom Government might decide to terminate their commercial treaty with Japan on which Canadian commercial relations with Japan rest. They appreciated that Australia had its own commercial arrangement and was independent. The ever-live topic of Australian representation in Canada was again raised and I was given the impression that the present intention of the Government is not to send representatives to either South Africa or Ireland until they can send one to Australia also. I gained the impression that the Department thought that it would be a happy development if an Australian High Commissioner or other political representative in Ottawa and an Australian Legation in the U.S.A. could be established more or less contemporaneously.

K. O[FFICER]

1 Dr Oscar D. Skelton, Under-Secretary of State and Permanent Head of Canadian Department of External Affairs.

[FA: A2937, F. KEITH OFFICER, O.B.E., M.C., ii]