37 Oldham to Evatt

Cablegram 123 (extract) WASHINGTON, 26 July 1946

MOST IMMEDIATE

Please ensure that Minister receives following message immediately on arrival. [1]

South Seas Commission 1. Have just received following communication from State Department:-

Begins:-Aide-memoire With respect to the Statement contained in the Australian Legation's aide-memoire of July 3rd, 1946, that the Australian, New Zealand and United Kingdom Governments have agreed to hold a Conference for the establishment of a regional advisory commission for dependent territories in the South Pacific and that the Governments concerned would extend an invitation to the United States Government if it considered it of value to send representatives to such a Conference, the Secretary of State informs the Legation that the Government of the United States would be pleased to accept an invitation to participate in such a Conference, with the stipulations that the Australian Government agrees to include Dutch New Guinea within the term of reference of the proposed Commission and will invite the Netherlands Government to participate in the Conference, and that the Australian Government further agrees to postpone the Conference until after the forthcoming session of the General Assembly.

It is the understanding of this Government that the proposed Commission should have advisory powers only, that it should be concerned with the promotion of native welfare and economic development, that it should not be empowered to deal in any way with political matters or questions of defence or security, and that its territorial scope will be limited to islands south of the equator which lie northbound north-east of Australia.

[matter omitted]

1 This cable was directed to Evatt through the Australian Legation in Paris. Evatt arrived in Paris from Washington via London on 28 July.

[SFU:EVATT COLLECTION, EXTERNAL AFFAIRS-ORIGINAL FILE (b)]