27 D'Alton to Evatt

Dispatch 17 WELLINGTON, 8 February 1945


I have the honour to refer to your telegram Number 21 of 16th January [1] concerning the Pacific War Council and to inform you that the Prime Minister, Mr. Fraser, has asked me to convey to you the following reply:

'Thank you for the message in regard to the Pacific War Council which Mr. D'Alton has conveyed to me on your behalf. You will already have my telegram of 17th January [2], in which I suggested that, in view of Sir Frederic Eggleston's indication that the Council will now meet [3], it might be preferable to postpone the raising of such fundamental issues until that meeting takes place.

Though I consider that regular meetings of the Council could be most useful, I am not at all sure that it would be a better vehicle of discussion than it has been in the past unless it is vested with wider scope and some further authority. it might even lead to our being sidetracked. I am convinced that if we are to have any voice at all there must be a time when it is made plain that the smaller powers cannot contemplate a world run entirely by dominant great powers, but I still believe that this question of the Council, and the basic problem of ensuring that we have a voice in all matters where our interests and our future are concerned, would be most satisfactorily dealt with by yourself in person when you visit Washington. If, however, you consider the matter more urgent, and if the contemplated meeting of the Pacific War Council does not take place I shall be most willing to reconsider the desirability of making a joint formal approach.' TOM D'ALTON

1 Document 8.

2 This was dispatched to the New Zealand High Commission in Canberra, and the contents conveyed to Evatt by letter dated 18 January. On file AA:A1066, P45/148/1.

3 Presumably a reference to the possibility mentioned in Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. VII, Document 380.

[AA:A1066, P45/148/11]