68 Evatt to Chifley

Cablegram Special El NEW DELHI, 28 February 1949, 8.55 p.m.


Nehru has spoken to me about Attlee's suggestion for proposed Commonwealth talks in London for finding satisfactory basis for continuing the association of India with the British Commonwealth.

Attlee also mentioned to Nehru the idea of sending out emissaries in advance as on previous occasions. I hope you will request Attlee that such emissaries and legal officers like Jowitt should see me in London well before any mission otherwise there might be a repetition of the Irish impasse where but for the intervention of Australia and New Zealand in London, Ireland would probably have been formally declared a foreign country. [1] That undesirable result was fortunately avoided. Similarly, in the case of India, too, I believe active assistance and drafting very earliest stage is essential so that important objective of continuing India in the British Commonwealth can be achieved.

Nehru is very anxious for practical suggestions from me and is giving me documentation to look over. If we can give him a hand and at the same time maintain the association of the British Commonwealth it will be a great stride towards peace in Asia. If the conference is to be held in London I hope that you will not be agreeable to any date that may conflict either with Assembly or Bank case. [2]

[matter omitted]

1 See Document 79 2 The 'bank case' refers to litigation over the Chifley Government's attempt to legislate for the nationalization of banks.