82 Attlee to Chifley

Cablegram 47 LONDON, 9 February 1946, 5.43 p.m.

SECRET AND PERSONAL

I am sorry to trouble you personally in the matter of the British member on the Allied Council for Japan in Tokyo to represent jointly Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and India, but I am afraid that we are not happy about the proposal in the Australian Government's official telegram No. 36 [1] to nominate Mr. W. Macmahon Ball.

We realise that Mr. Ball has a good knowledge of Pacific affairs and a background of distinguished experience. But this is a post to which we attach the greatest importance and one with which we are very directly concerned, since the holder will be called upon to represent United Kingdom interests, as well as those of the other three Commonwealth countries. It seems to us that a wide knowledge of the world, coupled with good diplomatic experience, are essential qualifications, and we frankly doubt whether Mr.

Ball is of the requisite calibre from this point of view.

We should feel greater confidence from the point of view of our own interests which are at stake if you could make available instead someone possessing the qualifications and experience of Mr. Keith Officer. Is there in fact no possibility of Mr. Keith Officer himself being made available? Our personal acquaintance with him as a result of his earlier service here as Australian External Affairs Liaison Officer in London would itself be a very helpful asset from our point of view.

I know that you and Dr. Evatt will not mind my putting this suggestion which results from discussion with Addison and Bevin.

This arrangement for joint representation is a new one, and we are all most anxious that it should be a complete success.

1 Presumably Document 45, which had been repeated to New Delhi as cablegram 36.

[AA:A3195, 1946, 1.3571]