70 Department of External Affairs to Dixon

Cablegram 323 CANBERRA, 10 March 1944

IMMEDIATE SECRET

For Dixon.

Your telegram 134 [1], Post-War Civil Aviation.

We had already been informed [2] of this development and have replied to London in terms of my immediately following telegram, which has also been repeated to Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. [3]

2. The situation will not be clarified until we hear again from London, but in the meantime it is desired that you represent informally to the State Department that Australian Government has learnt with considerable surprise of the intention of the United States Government to exclude it and the other Dominions from the proposed talks on civil aviation to which Canada has been invited to be a party.

3. You should make it clear to the State Department that the Australian Government feels strongly on this matter not only because of its well-known close concern over the question of post- war civil aviation since discussions on this subject began, but also because within a very recent period the United States Government has been acquainted with the considered views of the Australian and New Zealand Governments on post-war civil aviation as expressed in the Australian - New Zealand Agreement of January 21st last. [4] You should add that the Australian Government learns that the proposed discussions would take place on the high policy level and would therefore be quite unable to understand exclusion from the discussions of the only two governments which up to this stage have publicly stated the broad principles which they support on this subject.

4. We also note leakage concerning discussions evidenced by reports appearing in press on 7th March that 'Australia is likely to be left out of preliminary post-war international aviation discussions to be held in Washington late in March'. This should also be brought to the attention of the State Department.

1 Dispatched 23 February. On file AA:A989, 44/735/832/8.

2 Documents 51 and 52.

3 See Document 71 which was repeated separately to Washington as TOO 1000/10, 1005/10 and 1010/10, and subsequently renumbered 324 (see AA:A3196, 1944, O.6900). It was apparently repeated a second time on 13 March. See AA:A3643, vol. 13.

4 Document 26.

[AA:A989, 44/735/832/8]