425 Dunk to Shedden for Eastman

Message 1249 CANBERRA, 3 December 1945

SECRET IMMEDIATE

H.M. Government in the United Kingdom has advised [1] that it is quite practicable for you to be associated with Mr. Dening as Australian Representatives in the concluding phase of negotiations with the Siamese.

2. The question of appointing you as Australian political representative with power to negotiate and sign for the Commonwealth of Australia in these matters is receiving urgent consideration here. Final decision will not however be taken until after arrival at Canberra on 4th December of direct bag sent by you on 19th November [2] and until United Kingdom advises us of its attitude to the form of proposed agreements.

3. Without finally committing itself United Kingdom Government has tentatively suggested that it would be simpler and more expeditious for Australia and Siam to negotiate a separate formal agreement than for Australia to be jointly associated with United Kingdom and India in a multilateral agreement with Siam. We are considering this proposal. Your comments are requested. We do not however wish to give the Siamese any pretext for unduly protracting negotiations.

4. SAC 203 paragraph 10. [3] Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No.

77 of 10th March 1942 contains Australian declaration of war on Thailand as from 2nd March, 1942.

5. Request you keep Mr. J. C. R. Proud, Australian political representative to Headquarters, SACSEA, informed of developments.

1 Cablegram 500, dispatched 1 December. On file AA : A1838/2, 453/10/1/2.

2 Containing a copy of the draft heads of agreement with amendments to date. See Eastman's message SAC28460 dispatched 19 November, on the file cited in note 1.

3 Dispatched 29 November. On the file cited in note 1.

[AA : A816, 19/301/1030]