176 Fraser to Chifley

Letter WELLINGTON, 14 July 1947


I wish to thank you for your letter and enclosures of 28th May last dealing with Co-operation in British Commonwealth Defence.

While there has not been an adequate opportunity to examine in detail all the proposals which you make, I feel that I should let you know at this stage of their consideration that, in my own view, the procedure suggested in paragraphs 9 and 10 of your letter [1], for liaison between our two Governments as well as other Commonwealth Governments concerned, is not acceptable.

The New Zealand Government are at all times anxious to co-operate with Australia on the basis of equality, but, in the machinery proposed, that full measure of equality that should characterise co-operation between our two Governments is not adequately provided.

In any scheme of co-operation, it is an essential condition that we should have an effective voice and vote in matters of policy on administration and control, as well as in the determination of general policy.

It would, I am sure, not be impracticable to devise some method of effective partnership and joint machinery for the control of British Commonwealth defence projects on the level of administrative policy. Indeed, I feel that any other arrangement is alien to the spirit of the general political agreement to which we have both subscribed and of the customary partnership of our people.

1 See Document 172 and note 1 thereto.

[AA: A1068 T4, DL47/5/2B]