44 Department of External Affairs to D'Alton

Cablegram 33 CANBERRA, 8 February 1944


Australian - New Zealand Affairs Secretariat

1. After consultation with New Zealand High Commissioner, Canberra, daily contact between his officers and Australian - New Zealand Secretariat in Department has been commenced.

2. Secretariat has been set up in Department from today. Forsyth appointed officer-in-charge. It is hoped to appoint assistant to ensure continuity at all times.

3. New Zealand High Commissioner has been asked to inform us officially what arrangements are contemplated for nomination of liaison officer or officers of his staff to act (in accordance with Article 41 of Agreement [1]) in collaboration with Canberra Secretariat.

4. Please convey to New Zealand Minister of External Affairs notification- (a) that Canberra Secretariat has been set up in accordance with Article 39, and (b) that Mr. Shaw of your staff is nominated as liaison officer to act in collaboration with Wellington Secretariat from date of its establishment.

5. Lines along which Secretariat will work here have been agreed with New Zealand High Commissioner as follows:-

Functions of Secretariat are sufficiently defined in Article 40 of agreement. Methods of work should be as flexible as possible and it is contemplated that they should develop as practical needs indicate. Existing channels of communication should in general be maintained and direct communication between Canberra and Wellington Secretariats will therefore be unnecessary. There should be closest personal contact between liaison officers and Secretariat personnel, including informal contact by telephone as a matter of course, and a daily visit by liaison officer to Secretariat. Contents of all relevant current communications would be indicated to liaison officer by Secretariat. Matters for consultation and collaborative action, whether arising from these current communications or otherwise, would be raised, inquiries instituted, and information exchanged.

First special task of Secretariat will be to list specific matters regarding which Article 40(a) requires it to take initiative in ensuring that effect is given to the Agreement. Following this the Secretariat will raise queries and make suggestions relating to implementation of the Agreement. Secretariat will be responsible to Secretary of External Affairs Department and under control of Minister for External Affairs in accordance with Article 39.

Effective functioning of Canberra Secretariat as part of machinery of collaboration between Australia and New Zealand will be joint responsibility of Minister for External Affairs and New Zealand High Commissioner, Canberra, in accordance with Article 42.

1 For text see Document 26.

[AA:A989, 44/630/5/1/11]