485 Chifley to Beasley

Cablegram 163 CANBERRA, 28 December 1948, 2.20 p.m.


Your 159. [1] The United Kingdom supported basis of United States resolution but that failed to achieve necessary result and at next meeting Ukraine and Soviet captured initiative and offset the damage done to themselves in abstaining previously.

Australia has succeeded in keeping initiative in this matter from the first and by this means has cut the ground from under Soviet influence. On this occasion we agreed to hand initiative to United States on assurance of determined effort. We have been misled as apparently United States is prepared only to use words. 130,000 American-equipped Dutch troops are still being maintained directly from United States as the ban is only on orders and not on goods ordered, also indirectly by aid to Netherlands. To us they justify this by saying they cannot carry the whole burden and had to act with United Kingdom and France.

We have done what little we could. We have throughout prevented exports of munitions, export of Dutch-owned munitions, withheld relief and acted in other ways contrary to our narrow or immediate trading interests.

Even at this stage United Kingdom and United States can regain initiative and avoid us all being placed in the position of leaving the Soviet and Ukraine to take the lead in giving effect to the objectives we have stated.

See immediately following telegram [2] from New Delhi indicating likely developments if initiative not regained.

1 Document 477.

2 Dispatched on 28 December, Cablegram 164 conveyed the text of Document 463.

[AA:A1838, 854/10/4/3, ii]