207 Memorandum by Chifley

PMM(46) 6 LONDON, 23 April 1946

TOP SECRET

REGIONAL SECURITY IN THE PACIFIC, INCLUDING THE USE OF BASES BY THE UNITED STATES

Memorandum by the Prime Minister of Australia

THE GENERAL BASIS OF APPROACH-APPROVED BY AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT, 8TH APRIL, 1946

(1) RELATIVE PROVISIONS OF THE CHARTER Or THE UNITED NATIONS Article 43 refers to the provision of forces and facilities.

'1. All members of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security Council, on its call and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.

2. Such agreement or agreements shall govern the numbers and types of forces, their degree of readiness and general location, and the nature of the facilities and assistance to be provided.

3. The agreement or agreements shall be negotiated as soon as possible on the initiative of the Security Council. They shall be concluded between the Security Council and members, or between the Security Council and groups of members, and shall be subject to ratification by the signatory States in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.'

Article 46 refers to plans being made with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee:-

'Plans for the application of armed force shall be made by the Security Council with the assistance of the Military Staff Committee.'

Article 47 authorises the establishment of regional sub-committees of the Military Staff Committee:-

'The Military Staff Committee, with the authorisation of the Security Council and after consultation with appropriate regional agencies, may establish regional sub-committees.'

Article 51 refers to the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence:-

'Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.'

Article 52 declares that nothing in the Charter precludes regional arrangements:-

'Nothing in the present Charter precludes the existence of regional arrangements or agencies for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security as are appropriate for regional action, provided that such arrangements or agencies and their activities are consistent with the purposes and principles of the United Nations.'

(2) THE QUESTION OF BASES MUST BE RELATED TO AN OVERALL PLAN

While naval and air forces cannot function unless suitable bases in the operational area are available, the provision of bases is only part of the whole military plan and the overall defence obligations imposed on members.

(3) THE IMPORTANCE OF AMERICAN PARTICIPATION IN THE MAINTENANCE OF SECURITY IN THE SOUTH-WEST PACIFIC

It is to our advantage to associate the United States in the maintenance of security in the South-West Pacific, and facilities should be granted in accordance with the principles outlined in this Memorandum.

(4) PROCEDURE CONTEMPLATED BY THE UNITED STATES

Unless the arrangement is a regional plan in accordance with Article 52 of the Charter, the procedure contemplated by the United States may not conform to the provisions of the United Nations Charter, and any arrangements made in advance of a statement of the requirements of the Security Council may be repugnant to its plan.

(5) SOME ASPECTS OF THE DRAFT AGREEMENT PROPOSED BY THE UNITED STATES RELATING TO THE ADMIRALTY ISLANDS [1]

In regard to the detailed nature of the United States proposals, it will be noted from Article 43 that members undertake to make available forces and facilities. This involves the question of use and not control or administration of the area. The draft agreement suggested by the United States departs radically from this view, as indicated by the following instances:-

(i) Australia is not to be able to establish any military installation without the approval of the United States (Clause 1 of the Agreement).

(ii) The United States may at any time, and for as long as she desires, assume control of any or all of the military installations and facilities in the Islands (Annex 'A' to the Agreement).

(iii) The facilities shall not be made available to another Government without the consent of the United States (Annex 'A' to the Agreement).

(iv) The United States is to enjoy all rights she desires, but may at any time relinquish her responsibilities. Thus under Annex 'A', paragraph 5, Australia is to maintain at her own expense such of the existing facilities as are necessary in the opinion of the Military Authorities of the two Nations, whereas the United States, by Annex 'A', paragraph 7, is not committed to maintain any forces or facilities whatsoever.

(6) THE PRINCIPLE OF RECIPROCITY

The principle of reciprocity is fundamental to the granting of facilities for use. As indicated by the Defence Committee, the following lines of bases at present under British and United States control may be required for the maintenance of security in an overall plan:-

(i) Advanced bases on the line Shanghai-Okinawa-Iwo Jima-Wake- Midway.

(ii) Intermediate bases on the line Formosa-Philippines-Carolines- Marshalls-Midway -Dutch Harbour.

(iii) Rear bases in the vicinity of the line Hainan-North Borneo- Admiralties-Solomons-Fiji-Pearl Harbour.

In addition to the bases mentioned, the Defence Committee considers that it is necessary to provide for facilities in China, the Pescadores, Formosa, French Indo-China and the Netherlands East Indies, so as to complete the lines of bases necessary for security in the Pacific.

(7) AMERICAN CLAIMS TO SOVEREIGNTY OVER CERTAIN ISLANDS IN THE PACIFIC

It is the view of the United Kingdom Chiefs of Staff that there is no strong objection on military grounds to the recognition of American sovereignty over certain islands in the Pacific. The basis of this view is the quid pro quo to be obtained from the United States for support regarding the revision of the Anglo- Egyptian Treaty and use of any facilities granted to the Americans in Iceland and the Portuguese Atlantic Islands. This view, in regard to the variation of the position in the Pacific and the proposed basis of bargaining, cannot be agreed to.

(8) APPROVAL OF CABINET

This memorandum was endorsed as the general basis of approach of the Australian Government on this matter. [2]

J. B. C.

1 Document 127.

2 it was approved by Cabinet on 8 April and noted and endorsed by the Council of Defence on the following day. The handwritten record of discussions by the latter includes two comments by Evatt: 'anxious to have US involved in Pacific but politically most desirable to have reciproci[t]y', and 'in trying to get US committed to a plan it is realised it will be difficult but we shdn't start by giving things away'.

[AA:A6712,[3]]