304 Fraser to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram 171 WELLINGTON, 28 September 1944, 9.58 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Civil Aviation.

Your telegram No. 210. [1]

We note the conclusions reached by you regarding the operation of air routes by Commonwealth Governments but are in no position ourselves to state our views until we have received and studied the plan [2] submitted by the Australian Director-General of Civil Aviation, which you state has now been communicated to the High Commissioner Canberra [3], for transmission to us. We regret that you did not find it possible to forward this document to us earlier as we expected and had every reason to expect would have been the case in view of the spirit and, indeed, the express provisions contained in the agreement made between our two Governments in Canberra in January last. [4] We did ask the Australian High Commissioner here to request that this document be forwarded to us [5] but it was not until the question was raised officially in our telegram No. 165 of the 18th September [6] that an assurance was forthcoming that it would be communicated to us though it has not yet been received. We wish to state that in view of the understanding between our two Governments we expected the plan would have been furnished to us before, or at least at the same time as it was given to the United Kingdom and Canadian Authorities.

2. We would be glad to discuss the proposals during the Ministerial conversations which are now being arranged and the document, a copy of which is being obtained from your High Commissioner, will in the meantime be studied here. Since our Delegation for the Commonwealth talks in Ottawa and the later meeting in the United States will be leaving here towards the end of the second week of October, it is suggested that arrangements should be made for representatives to arrive towards the end of the first week and at the latest the beginning of the second week of October.

1 Document 301.

2 See Document 177, note 7.

3 J. G. Barclay.

4 i.e. Document 26.

5 The request was first conveyed in cablegram 95, dispatched 1 August, from the High Commissioner's Office, Wellington (on file AA:A5954, box 658). A memorandum to the High Commissioner in Wellington, dated 21 August, but not sent, noted that McVey's scheme was not known to the External Affairs Dept, though a copy had been seen unofficially by an officer of the Department. It commented that adoption of the plan would mean abandonment of established Australian - New Zealand policy, that the position of the Civil Aviation Dept differed in some respects from that of the External Affairs Dept and that it was understood the matter would shortly be discussed in Cabinet. The memorandum is on file AA:A989, 43/735/832/1, ii.

6 On file AA:A989, 43/735/832/1, ii.

[AA:A989, 44/735/832/11]