555 Australian Government to Addison and Fraser

Cablegrams 241, 219 CANBERRA, 3 September 1947, 2.10 p.m.

SECRET

Your 194. SOUTH PACIFIC COMMISSION.

French Minister here recently mentioned possibility of Noumea as desirable site.

2. We agree that no commitment whatsoever should be given at present stage. Matter is essentially one for discussion at first meeting of representatives of signatory governments or commissioners if appointed. Whole question underlines need for early meeting with view to investigation outstanding matters beyond competence Interim Organisation. We are investigating situation with New Zealand authorities and will probably be suggesting that such meeting be held in late October.

3. Prior ratification by Netherlands and French Governments is extremely desirable. Strong representations by you on this point would be welcome. U.S. Government has communicated this week Note undertaking 'in the event of other participating governments accepting the agreement establishing the South Pacific Commission prior to 2nd January 1948 to study the means by which it might be able to accept the agreement and participate in the Commission subject to final Congressional approval'.

4. If ratifications not possible prior to October meeting similar assurances might be obtained from French and Dutch regarding intention to ratify so that long-term planning may proceed.

5. Primary consideration at the moment is to translate objectives of the agreement into working reality. Many difficult questions have to be solved particularly personnel matters but these questions must be faced soon if prestige of Commission is to be ensured and effective functioning guaranteed.

[AA : A1838, 344/4]