175 Australian Government to Addison and Fraser

CANBERRA, 8 April 1946 Cablegrams 161, 112

TOP SECRET IMMEDIATE

Your telegram D.316. [1] United States request for bases.

1. On 20th March Department of State handed to Australian Legation a memorandum suggesting informal conversations concerning use of base in Admiralty Islands. [2] Two documents were attached, namely a preliminary draft of a proposed agreement on bases and a draft of clauses for inclusion in any trusteeship agreement in respect of New Guinea. These documents followed closely terms of drafts submitted to New Zealand by United States. We shall not of course enter into discussions with United States on these matters prior to forthcoming discussions in London.

2. We feel that a communication to United States along lines of last two sentences in paragraph 7 of your telegram D.316 [3] may lead United States to expect early agreement on bases on terms satisfactory to them.

We do not think it would be wise to create any such expectation pending completion of London talks.

1 Dispatched 4 April, it reported that 'technical and exploratory' Anglo-American talks in Washington on bases were to be terminated pending British Commonwealth discussions.

2 Document 127. In fact a cablegram from Washington conveying the gist of the documents was received in Canberra on 20 March.

3 The sentences conveyed British reassurance to the United States that it was hoped to proceed quickly once intra-Commonwealth discussions were concluded.

[AA:A1067, A46/2/3/3]