548 Department of External Affairs to Barnett

Cablegram 96 CANBERRA, 10 December 1947, 3.10 p.m.

SECRET

Your 141, 145 [1], 147.

Question of possible extension of credit raised in your messages has not yet been considered but we are examining in a general way means by which we might assist New Caledonia if economic difficulties continue. Question arises, inter alia, whether we could usefully send a small mission to New Caledonia early in 1948 to investigate economic position and discuss with Governor and appropriate local representatives possibilities of expanding trade between New Caledonia and Australia. Pending further consideration of this idea, which is still entirely tentative, you might yourself ventilate it unofficially without in any way committing Government, and let us know how influential elements in New Caledonia might be expected to view such a visit.

1 Dispatched 7 December. It reported provision by France of sufficient dollar and sterling currency to avert the immediate crisis.

[AA : A1838, 324/1/2]