343 Beasley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 218 LONDON, 21 July 1947, 3.45 p.m.


At the meeting of High Commissioners at Commonwealth Relations Office on 18th July Addison mentioned a number of matters in relation to the Canberra Conference. All present said their Governments were pleased [1] for Conference and high quality of representation. At the outset McNeil explained that from informal conversations in Washington it seemed that the Americans had accepted the position put by the United Kingdom, Australian and New Zealand Governments re the impossibility of August 19th as the date for the conference proposed by the United States. The United States Government now were prepared to accept some date in September. They had not yet replied on the question whether the conference in Washington should be on a ministerial or official level. When I asked about Molotov's insistence that the Japanese Settlement was primarily a question for the Council of Foreign Ministers, McNeil said he was sure that the United States Government 'stood' on its invitation to the eleven Governments who are members of the Far Eastern Commission.

2. Addison mentioned that the United Kingdom Government would like to see Pakistan and Burma at the Canberra Conference as well as India if the former two wished to attend. The Commonwealth Relations Office would be telegraphing to you direct about Burma in a day or two. [2] I said I knew you would welcome Pakistan Representatives. Others present seemed generally favourable.

Incidentally, Addison and McNeil stressed the cordiality of recent relations with Indian Representatives, both here and at International Conferences.

3. Addison explained the approach by the United Kingdom High Commissioner in Canberra on the subject of publicity for the Canberra Conference and expressed complete accord with the proposal by the Australian Government that publicity should be confined to agreed communiques released by the Conference Press Officer. Members of the meeting said they felt sure their Governments would approve of this decision.

[matter omitted]

1 A sign here indicates word 'omitted'.

2 India, Pakistan and Burma sent representatives to the Canberra talks.

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