324 Evatt to Beasley

Cablegram 181 CANBERRA, 9 June 1947

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

Your 208 was sent under a misapprehension and I hope I corrected it clearly when I spoke to you on Saturday evening Canberra time.

It is vital to us to have the Conference in Australia. I take it that this has been decided in principle.

I think the 26th is far too late but it was preferable to accept that date rather than miss the Conference. After the Conference, I shall have to go to the Assembly Meeting in New York. Therefore, the Prime Minister and I are naturally anxious to have the Conference about the middle of August if that is possible.

We feel so strongly against London Conference that I do not think we could accept it under any conditions. As it is now, you should finalise Conference in Canberra in August, making personal appeal to Addison from myself to make his departure from London as early as possible in that month. [1]

However, all this will, I take it, be clear to you as a result of our telephone conversation. We would like South Africa to attend but they were completely disinterested in the Pacific war. Canada has already accepted the proposal to come to the Conference at Canberra and will be represented by their High Commissioner.

Please try and persuade Addison to have a Minister of the Crown sent, if possible. [2]

1 Beasley reported on 10,June that Addison remained unyielding,and he had been forced to agree that the conference begin on August 26. Chifley announced the commencement date on 23 June.

2 After initial resistance Canada, in mid-June, and South Africa, in early-July, succumbed to UK and Australian pressure and agreed to send ministers to a conference in Canberra.

[AA: A1068, P47/10/61, ii]