125 Department of External Affairs to Brigden

Cablegram 380 CANBERRA, 12 March 1946


The following telegram has been received from the Australian Minister, Chungking.

Begins- U.N.R.R.A.

From preliminary information which I have received, it appears that the organisation of U.N.R.R.A. in China is confused and lacking in strong benefits. Relations with the China National Relief and Rehabilitation Administration through whom distribution of relief supplies is made, have deteriorated and the general work of both organisations is coming in for increasing criticism both from Chinese and foreigners in China.

Scale of U.N.R.R.A.'s programme for China is large and Australia's share in goods and services substantial and it is important that the relief programme in an area so vital to Australia should not fail owing to administrative weaknesses. I would suggest that at the coming meeting of the Council for U.N.R.R.A. at Atlantic City which I understand is scheduled for March 15th a firm request be made for an immediate survey of the situation in China by Commander Jackson, deputy director U.N.R.R.A. An independent enquiry by a non American of such high status would appear the only means of breaking the impasse which is developing. Ends.

Please raise the matter at your discretion but we do not desire Jackson to leave Washington if you think his presence there is essential.

3 The U.K. Govt's initial nominee was D.F. MacDermot, and India's L.C. Jain. New Zealand was unable to appoint a separate adviser because of staffing difficulties, New Zealand's views being conveyed to Ball through the External Affairs Dept in Canberra.

[AA:A3196, 1946, 0.4840]