205 Department of External Affairs to Watt

Cablegram 133 CANBERRA, 27 August 1948, 2.30 p.m.


Your 281.

Prime Minister has made following statements on export of arms and equipment to Malaya:-

(1) 2nd August.

'Cabinet decided today that, where a request has been or will be made by the British Government for arms and equipment for use by the Government of the Malayan Union, these will be made available from Australian supplies within the reasonable limits of their availability.'

(2) 2.3rd August.

'Supplies of automatic weapons and ammunition which are required in Malaya for the maintenance of law and order have recently been despatched by the Australian authorities by air and have been duly delivered. The supplies sent have satisfied the requests made to date through the British Government, so far as the items required could be made available from Australian stocks. Certain other types of equipment, which are being tested and examined, will also be supplied to the extent available, if they are found to be suitable for the purpose required.'

2. As regards last sentence of (2), Government is not making public nature of equipment referred to. For your information, however, it consists for the most part of certain new types of radio and W/T equipment.

[AA: A1838/278, 411/3/7/1, i]