35 Evatt to Eggleston

Cablegram 224 CANBERRA, 13 February 1945

IMMEDIATE SECRET

On February 2nd Full Cabinet decided to appoint a Minister in Latin America and nominated Macgregor for this position. [1] The decision is designed to secure within shortest possible time advantages of Australian representation in this area of such a sort that its ultimate form can be shaped in the light of experience.

2. Present intention is to accredit Minister to the major South American countries only, leaving relations with the rest on an informal basis for the time being. We propose to seek in the first instance exchanges with Brazil and Chile for which King's approval has now been obtained.

3. It is obviously desirable that our approach to the Brazilians and Chileans should be made by one authority and I think you are in the best position to do this.

4. In March last year the Chilean Ambassador in London [2] was instructed by his Government to enquire through Bruce whether we would be prepared to effect a diplomatic exchange. [3] We undertook to do this when circumstances permitted us, and meanwhile agreed that a Chilean Consul-General de carriere should come to Australia who might on his arrival be recognized as Charge d'Affaires here. This officer, whose name is Manuel Eduardo Hubner, is understood to be now on his way.

5. Please approach Chilean Ambassador [4] on this matter, referring to the March agreement, and inform him that, if his Government is still of the same mind as regards a diplomatic exchange, we will be very willing to receive Hubner as Chilean Minister. You may then say that we are now in a position to complete a diplomatic exchange, and to ask for Macgregor's name to be communicated informally to the Chilean Government as suggested Minister to Chile.

6. Simultaneously with this approach you should ask Brazilian Ambassador in Washington [5] to convey to his Government, enquiry (which you should yourself prepare in suitable language) whether it would be willing to enter into diplomatic exchange with Australia. You should inform him that a similar exchange is being prepared with Chile, and that it would be the Australian Government's intention to establish Legations at both Rio and Santiago, though under a single chef de mission. You should add that the Australian Government would be very happy to welcome a Brazilian Minister to Canberra.

1 Initially the Govt proposed appointing Macgregor 'Minister at Large in Latin America'. See cablegram 25 to Bruce, dispatched 2 February (in AA : M100, February 1945).

2 Manuel Bianchi.

3 See Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. VII, Document 72.

4 Marcial Mora.

5 Carlos Martins Pereira e Sousa.

[AA:A1066, A45/3/1/1]