313 Legation in Washington to Commonwealth

Government

Cablegram 964 WASHINGTON, 10 October 1944, 12.02 a.m.

Received 11 October 1944

IMMEDIATE TOP SECRET

Further to my 921. [1] Lend Lease in Stage II.

Meeting of Australian Representatives designated in your telegram 1456 [2] or their nominees was held at the Legation this morning to discuss the general problems involved and line of approach to adopt on the question of procedure. This afternoon all Australian Representatives had a preliminary meeting with the United Kingdom Representatives who included Ben Smith, Keynes, Brand [3], Self

for- (A) Continuance of existing contacts and machinery (Munitions and Non-Munitions) so far as applicable;

(B) General meetings from time to time at which the United Kingdom Representatives would give us information on important developments;

(C) Access by appropriate Australian Representatives to Official Committees which might be set up for joint discussions with the Americans (there are likely to be three Committees on Official level dealing respectively with machinery and procedural matters, Munitions and Non-Munitions). Mr. Ben Smith agreed to these three requests.

The United Kingdom Representatives said that they wished to be quite clear as to whether the United Kingdom were to present Australian Munitions and Non-Munitions requirements together with their own requirements or whether the United Kingdom were to present their own requirements alone leaving it to Australia to present its requirements to the Americans separately. They did not advocate either course but pointed out the possible advantages and disadvantages of both. If the United Kingdom presented Australian requirements with their own there might be some tendency for the Americans to apply to the Australians principles which were rightly applicable to the United Kingdom but which should not be applied to Australia. This could be met by emphasising the special position of Australia. Australia would then have a special chapter in the general British case. On the other hand if the United Kingdom did not present Australia's requirements the opportunity might be lost for full United Kingdom support of the Australian case at a time when the American attitude on the whole re Lend Lease was still relatively open.

We said that although it might appear from the fact that Australia had supplied its Non-Munitions figures to the United Kingdom (see 226 from Australia to the Dominions Office [7]) that Australia desired the United Kingdom to present Australian requirements when United Kingdom requirements were presented, we would have to obtain a direct instruction from Australia before we could give a definite answer on this point.

The United Kingdom representatives then stressed the urgency of Australia supplying at the earliest possible moment and in any event during this week detailed estimates for both Munitions and Non-Munitions requirements. They said that the figures given in telegram No. 226 would need to be broken down into somewhat greater detail.

Macgregor is cabling Impro direct regarding breakdown of 189 million dollar programme. [8]

Would appreciate earliest advice- (1) Whether the United Kingdom is to present Australian figures together with their own;

(2) Munitions and Non-Munitions estimates giving somewhat greater breakdown than in your telegram 226. (Breakdown in fullest detail will be required at a later stage.)

[AA:A571, L41/915A, iv]

1 Dispatched 27 September. On file AA:A571, L41/915A, iv. It reported that the instructions in Document 298 had been carried out.

2 Document 298.

3 R. H. Brand, banker; Representative of U.K. Treasury in Washington.

4 Sir Henry Self, Deputy for the U.K. Minister of Production on Combined Production and Resources Board in Washington; U.K. Member of Combined Raw Materials Board.

5 Sir Charles Hambro, banker; U.K. Member of Combined Raw Materials Board and Head of British Raw Materials Mission in Washington.

6 Redvers Opie, economist; Counsellor and Economic Adviser, U.K.

Embassy in Washington.

7 Dispatched 6 September. On the file cited in note 1.

8 Cablegram W9717, dispatched 9 October. On the file cited in note 1.

[4], Hambro [5], Opie. [6] On the question of procedure we asked