61 Fraser to Evatt

Cablegram 39 WELLINGTON, 1 March 1944, 10.50 p.m.


Thank you for your telegram No. 34 [1] which I only received late last night owing to delay arising from repetition of indecypherable portions of the message.

I am glad to know you have been able to redraft the Canadian clause in conformity with our common view point on Article 7 of the Mutual Aid Agreement.

While at any other time I would be quite agreeable to publication or to commenting on the exchange of Notes [2] I doubt the value of doing so immediately and with[out] the prior information being given to the United Kingdom and the United States Governments. In view of the existing state of feeling on the part of the United States authorities regarding the Canberra Agreement [3] it would probably be unwise for us to announce publicly yet another understanding which the Americans would regard as being totally at variance with their views and interests in the post-war period.

They may very probably interpret our action as being directed against them and be less willing for that reason to meet us on the question of the Regional Conference.

The Americans are also aware of the Officials' conference on postwar commercial policy now taking place in London and publication of our agreed attitude on matters under discussion which it would be reasonable to suppose our delegates would be putting forward might lead to some degree of embarrassment in the United Kingdom as well as in the United States of America. In any case before publication is arranged I think the Notes should be made available in advance to the United Kingdom and other Dominion Governments and, if necessary, the United States Government should also be informed. I see no reason, however, why you should not set forth, in the course of your speech, the principles upon which we have agreed as a statement of policy of your own Government [4], and, if necessary, I will do the same in New Zealand.

I do, however, see some advantage for the reasons set out above in not publicizing and emphasizing this week the fact that the two Governments have come to an agreement in respect of these principles. Glad to have your views and if you would show Berendsen this message.


1 Document 58.

2 Documents 28 and 29.

3 Document 26.

4 On 17 March Evatt announced the signature of the Mutual Aid Agreement with Canada, and outlined the Commonwealth Govt's five- point approach to international economic collaboration, without referring to the exchange of notes with the N.Z. Govt. See Commonwealth Parliamentary Debates, vol. 178, pp. 1554-6.

[AA:A989,43/125/5/6/1, ii]