199 Evatt to Chifley

Cablegram 432 SINGAPORE, 24 July 1948, 1.33 p.m.

IMPORTANT SECRET

I have had consultation to day, and this evening with the Commissioner General, Governor of Singapore, and the Australian Commissioner. [1]

2. Authorities here are getting in touch with the United Kingdom Government as to munitions requirements so that if any request comes to you it will be direct from the United Kingdom. MacDonald and Gimson tell me that shortages here are chiefly in respect of sten guns and other automatic weapons. I think it is of importance to Australia's permanent interest here, that if any request is made by the United Kingdom it should be acceded to.

3. You should also know that the position here is due to a tiny minority mainly of Chinese Communists who are opposed to Chinese Nationalist Government of Chiang Kai Shek, and who have impudently proposed to proclaim Malaya a Communist Republic an August 2nd. It may well be the United Kingdom Government cannot do much more because of European situation and accordingly Australia is to a substantial extent bound to prevent undermining of British Authority in this closely allied strategical area proved by incident of Japanese war.

4. Possibly those in authority in England may see fit to communicate further with me when I arrive and I shall keep you fully informed.

1 Evatt was en route to Geneva for meetings of the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

[AA:A1838/278, 413/2/6/3, i]