439 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr A. W. Fadden, Acting Prime Minister

Cablegram M94 LONDON, 1 May 1941, 7.55 p.m.

SECRET

Your telegram 269. [1]

Have discussed the matter with Eden [2] who sees no objection to the proposed Chinese appointment but on the contrary would welcome it. This is my own view also. Suggest you instruct Bruce [3] to make the usual formal application to the British Government for transmission to China.

MENZIES

1 Dispatched 29 April. It requested a prompt reply to the Commonwealth Govt's proposal to appoint a Minister to China. See file AA: A981, Australia 162, i.]

2 U.K. Foreign Secretary.

3 High Commissioner in London. Following a decision of Full Cabinet on 2 May (see AA: A2697, vol. 6, Agendum 398) Bruce was instructed to ask the U.K. Govt to seek the approval of the Chinese Govt for an exchange of Ministers (cablegram 2029 of 2 May). On 14 May Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, U.K. Ambassador to China, dispatched an unnumbered cablegram to the Commonwealth Govt reporting that the Chinese Govt had agreed to and publicly announced the exchange. The post of Minister to China was first offered to J. H. Scullin (Prime Minister 1929-32 and Labor Party M.H.R. for Yarra), who rejected it on considerations of health, and then to Sir Frederic Eggleston (Chairman of the Commonwealth Grants Commission), who accepted it. On 5 July the Chinese Consul- General in Australia (Dr C. J. Pao) advised the Commonwealth Govt that the first Chinese Minister to Australia would be Dr Hsu Mo (Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs). See files AA: A981, Australia 162, i; AA: A2680, 58/1941.

[AA: A981, AUSTRALIA 162, i]