224 Forde to Chifley

Cablegram 2361 CANBERRA, 1 May 1946

Have received following cable from Moore in reply to my enquiry as to the progress of the late Senator Keane's negotiations. [1] Begins:

'The Lend Lease and Reciprocal Lend Lease negotiations had reached critical and concluding stages. Top level negotiator should not been [2] brought in to discussions as we were reserving these for our final appeal. I have had discussions since Senator Keane's death with two of top level commission who had not been brought into negotiations and find their attitude much more sympathetic.

[3]

Strictly for your information and McFarlane's. United States negotiators with whom we have been negotiating had proposed that Australia pay 100 million dollars in settlement. Senator Keane and I have adhered to the washout settlement based on our overall effort under reciprocal lend lease and the aid rendered by Australia which has not been brought into reciprocal lend lease figures.

My own feeling is that I will be able to handle the negotiations effectively, provided I can get two or three decisions from Mr.

Chifley, when he is in Washington from 7th to 9th May. If I can obtain these decisions, I do not think it would be necessary to send a Minister from Australia. It would be exceedingly difficult for him to take up the threads at this stage, to get to know the United States Negotiators, to absorb the atmosphere to the negotiations and its general background.

I think it would be preferable for you to leave this matter remain open until Mr. Chifley's visit to Washington where-upon I could give you a further report.'

Have given copy of cable to Dedman and McFarlane.

1 Keane died suddenly in Washington on 27 April. Forde had advised Moore that it would be difficult to send another minister to complete the Lend-Lease negotiations and asked whether Moore could complete the work himself.

2 A sign here indicates 'mutilated'.

3 See Document 121 and note 2 thereto.

[AA:A3196, 1946, 0.8500]