309 Department of External Affairs to D'Alton

Cablegram 187 CANBERRA, 4 October 1944

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

Please convey immediately following to Prime Minister of New Zealand- Begins- 1. We greatly regret the delay in finalising plans for talks with you and your Ministers. Our own plans have been affected by proposed absence of Prime Minister in Western Australia during fortnight of the present month and the absence of other Ministers, during present month, from Canberra.

2. We now suggest the following arrangements- (a) Talks on civil aviation only to take place next week at Wellington preparatory to Ottawa and Washington discussions. For that purpose Mr. Drakeford, Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr.

McVey, Director-General of Civil Aviation, Colonel Hodgson, Secretary of the Department of External Affairs, and Mr. Gullick, Private Secretary, will leave Sydney by air on Monday next.

(b) On the 28th of the month, Mr. Forde, Deputy Prime Minister and Dr. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs, with staff will leave Sydney by air for general talks in fulfilment of the Australian New Zealand Agreement. [1]

We hope that these proposals will be satisfactory.

Ends.

2. Please do not give any publicity at present.

3. If proposals are satisfactory please arrange for air transport immediately after arrival from Auckland to Wellington and accommodation for party mentioned in 2(a).

1 Document 26.

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