129 Moodie to Wiadrowski

Memorandum CANBERRA, 23 June 1949


I have received and perused a copy of J.I.C. Appreciation No. 5 regarding 'Implications of the Spread of Communism in China'. [1]

2. As you are aware, I was not able to be present during the discussion of this Appreciation, but feel that I should place on record our departmental attitude. The views of this Department on problems in China and South East Asia were set out in an Appreciation [2] prepared last September and transmitted to the Minister for Defence in October which subsequently reached members of the J.I.C. In the light of the observations in that Appreciation it is clearly impossible for this Department, or its representative on the Joint Intelligence Committee, to agree with the reasoning and conclusions as set out in J.I.C. Appreciation No. 5. As it is the primary responsibility of this Department to give political judgments on foreign affairs, if the Joint Intelligence Committee disagrees with our views as earlier expressed and prepares an Appreciation containing different political judgments, I feel that this fact should be clearly stated in the introduction.

3. I, therefore, suggest that an addendum should be inserted in the introduction to the effect that the Appreciation does not reflect the views of the Department of External Affairs, and that this fact be specifically brought to the notice of the Defence Conunittee. [3]

1 Moodie's copy was annotated 'preliminary' and dated 22 June 1949. The object of the appreciation was stated to be 'To review the effect on South East Asia of the spread of Communism in China including an estimate of the probable form and scale of attack on South East Asia and Australia in the light of the recent Communist successes in China'. The preliminary draft was subsequently rearranged and the object altered to reduce the political inference therein. For the final version see Document 130.

2 Document 121, Attachment thereto.

3 On 4 July 1949 Moodie informed Button that the Joint Intelligence Committee had advised the Defence Committee of the Department's disagreement with its conclusions. Button annotated Moodie's minute with the words: 'No action. By the time it sees light of day there will be substantial changes in UK-US policy.'

[AA:A1068/7, DL47/5/1A]