503 Department of External Affairs to Cutler

Cablegram 73 CANBERRA, 19 March 1947

IMMEDIATE

Please see telegram No. 29 from New Zealand and No. 3 from Dominions Office.

Both telegrams are under consideration here. Advice from the Department of Defence is delayed pending consultation with B.C.O.F. so that we are not yet in a position to convey an official reply to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. However, we would be glad if you would pass to the New Zealand Department of External Affairs the following as preliminary political views.

1. We feel it is essential for our Governments to share in the obligations involved in the maintenance of security in the Pacific and it is imperative to share in the military occupation of Japan at least until the terms of the Peace Settlement and the future control mechanism in Japan are decided.

2. We feel, for our part, that any move in the direction of withdrawal from the occupation would weaken our claim and right to participate as a principal in the Peace Settlement.

3. The long-term political, economic and commercial considerations mentioned in paragraph 6 of the United Kingdom cable appear convincing and we would be glad to undertake negotiations with the United States authorities if Service reports on the proposals are favourable.

[AA : A1067, P46/10/61, i]