8 D'Alton to Evatt

Dispatch 44/1/2 (extract) WELLINGTON, 8 January 1944

SECRET

I have the honour to inform you that on 7th January, the day prior

to my departure for Auckland on my way to Australia, I had a long

interview with the Prime Minister. Mr. Fraser discussed the

forthcoming conference to be held in Canberra and made several

observations which I think are of considerable interest.

2. Speaking of the future of New Caledonia, Mr. Fraser said that

he would not like to see the French ousted from this possession.

Such a step would, he felt, come about only from American pressure

and would result in complete American occupation. He expressed the

view that New Zealand would be willing to share responsibility for

the defence of New Caledonia.

3. Mr. Fraser also informed me that New Zealand had no wish to

upset the scope or authority of the British High Commissioner in

the Western Pacific. He took the view that everything must be done

to maintain Britain's interest in this area. (I might add that

there is a certain feeling here that Britain has already lost

interest in the Pacific and that the omission of any air links

between America and Australia and New Zealand in the proposals

decided upon by Lord Beaverbrook's inter-Dominion conference on

civil aviation [1] is held to be indicative of this trend.)

4. In speaking of future armistices, Mr. Fraser said definitely

that, despite his Government's previous attitude to the signing of

the armistice with Italy, New Zealand wished to play a full part

in arrangements so far as the Pacific was concerned.

[matter omitted]

TOM D'ALTON

1 See Document 2, note 2.

[AA:A4231, WELLINGTON, 1943-44]