408 Addison to Chifley

Cablegram D2138 LONDON, 22 November 1945, 8.20 p.m.

TOP SECRET AND PERSONAL

The United States Secretary of State recently approached us with a view to securing Long-Term Military Base Rights in territories (mainly in the Pacific) administered by the United Kingdom and asked for our support of United States negotiations for post-war base requirements in Iceland and in Portuguese Atlantic islands.

Mr. Byrnes further asked us to waive our claims to 25 Pacific islands in which the United States dispute our sovereignty.

In connection with this approach Mr. Byrnes has informed us in strict confidence that he intends to make a similar approach to the Australian and New Zealand Governments regarding certain territories administered by those Governments. (We understand that this would include one place under Australian and one under New Zealand Mandate.) We have made it clear to Mr. Byrnes that, while it is of course for him to approach the Australian and New Zealand Governments, we for our part feel bound to inform you at once that we have learnt that such an approach is to be expected. We are considering the position urgently here and will telegraph again to you as soon as possible giving our preliminary views as to how best to deal with the approach made to us. We are naturally anxious to keep in closest touch on this.

Please take steps to ensure that the strictest secrecy is ensured as regards this approach.

[AA : A6494 T1, SPTS/1/3]