291 Dixon to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 1150 WASHINGTON, 6 October 1943, 8.22 p.m.

Further to my 1040 [1] and 1122. [2] Dean Acheson to-day handed me an Aide-Memoire as follows:-Begins.

'The United States Government and the people of the United States deeply appreciate the aid which Australia has rendered to the United States Forces in the South-West Pacific Area. This aid and the spirit in which it has been given are splendid examples of the principle of mutual aid governing our common war effort. It is, however, the feeling of the United States Government that it would be in the interest of both countries to carry the principle of mutual aid a step further toward complete realisation.

It is proposed, therefore, that the Government of Australia extend the Reciprocal Aid programme to include the furnishing without payment by the United States of those materials which are imported from Australia or from Australian sources by agencies of the United States Government.

The United States Government's procurement programme contemplates the acquisition in Australia during the fiscal year beginning 1st July, 1943, by official agencies, of the following commodities- beryl, lead, livermeal, tallow, [t]antalite and zinc.

The foregoing is not and by its nature cannot be a definite statement of the specific commodities which the United States Government might wish to bring within the programme. It is submitted rather as an indication of the approximate scope of the contemplated programme.

A similar suggestion was recently made by the United States Government to the British Government and the latter has agreed to furnish as Reciprocal Aid materials imported by United States Government agencies from the United Kingdom, Southern Rhodesia and the colonies. In view of this the United States Government is currently advising the Governments of New Zealand, the Union of South Africa and of India, as well as of Australia, of the procurement programmes which the United States Government hopes may similarly be transferred to a Reciprocal Aid basis by these countries. It is understood that the British Government has kept the Government of Australia informed regarding its conversations with the United States Government on the subject.' [3]

Ends.

Acheson added:-

(a) that it was hoped that before the last week in the month the matter might have reached such a stage as to make it possible to include a statement of the broad result in what was laid before the United Kingdom Parliament;

(b) that matters of detail and procedure would require consideration, and (c) that some of them had already been raised by Waley. He would therefore be grateful for an early reply.

1 Dispatched 14 September (FA:A3195, 1943, 1.38436).

2 Dispatched 30 September. On file AA:A2680, 38/1942.

3 See cablegrams 192-3 of 28-29 July on file AA:A2671, 391/1943 and cablegram 255 of 6 September on file AA:A989, 43/950/8/1/5.

[AA:A2671, 391/1943]