582 Noel-Baker to Australian Government

Cablegram 273 LONDON, 19 December 1947, 6.09 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Thank you for your telegram 17th December, NO. 348.

HEARD ISLAND

Definitive reactions of the United States State Department to our approach regarding Argentine and Chilean encroachments in Falkland Islands Dependencies (my telegram 7th October, D. No.812) have not yet been received. Preliminary attitude of State Department officials was one of considerable reserve and there were suggestions that action in sense we contemplated might precipitate assertion of United States claims in Antarctic or some other step which would be embarrassing. In view of continuing Argentine encroachments we have, however, now felt it necessary to instruct United Kingdom Ambassadors in Buenos Aires and Santiago to present notes as originally contemplated.

2. In the circumstances and until we have a clearer idea of United States intentions we would suggest for consideration of Australian Government that if the press announcement has not already been made about Heard Island it might be prudent to limit it to brief statement on lines of extract quoted in your telegram and not to give it special prominence or publicity. [1]

1 The Australian Government promised in reply to include in the announcement background material regarding landing operations, Heard Island itself and the scientific program, and to give no special prominence to the occupation ceremony.

[AA : A1068, A47/26/11]