253 Bruce to Curtin

Cablegram 120A LONDON, 22 August 1944, 7.45 p.m.


(Addressed to the Prime Minister, Mr. Curtin.)


The Dominions Office are cabling you with regard to the present position in connection with the contemplated United Nations Conference and recent discussions with the Americans. [1]

The position appears to be anything but satisfactory and it is difficult to avoid the impression that the United States of America have little enthusiasm for a worthwhile International Convention governing postwar civil aviation but are hoping to pull off bilateral arrangements with individual nations which will ensure to America a dominating position in post-war civil aviation.

In view of this possibility it is essential in my view that the meeting of Empire representatives suggested in Dominions Office telegram D.1080 of 28th July [2] should be held at the earliest possible moment to consider McVey's proposals [3] and formulate our plans. By the formulation of such plans we would place ourselves in a position to meet, should it eventuate, the American threat to dominate post-war air, and at the same time would be arming ourselves to make a more useful contribution in the event of the contemplated United Nations Civil Aviation Conference being held and for your personal information-although it is not quite clear and I have asked to have the point clarified, it seems that the proposal for the tabling of plans (Dominions Office telegram D.1082 of 29th July [4]) has now been abandoned.


1 Cablegram D1185, dispatched 22 August. On file AA:A989, 43/735/832/1, ii.

2 Document 240.

3 See Document 177, note 7.

4 Document 241.

[AA:A989, 43/735/832/1, ii]