35 Bajpai to Kevin

Letter NEW DELHI, 6 January 1949

Kindly refer to your letter F. No.37/23/2 dated the 6th of January [1], which you left with me today. I have shown it to the Prime Minister, who would be grateful if you could convey the following message from him to Mr. Chifley-

'I hasten to thank you for your acceptance of our invitation to discuss the Indonesian situation. I have had most encouraging response from other Governments whom we invited, and I feel, therefore, that their Representatives as well as ours will greatly benefit in our deliberations by the wise counsel of the two senior officials whom you have decided to send.'

2. In a telegram which we have received from our High Commissioner, it is stated that the Australian Government's main objection to the acceptance of our invitation was that, so far as they knew, the U.K., U.S.A., and New Zealand had not been invited, and this meant that Australia had been singled out as the only White nation invited to the Conference. If you think it necessary, you may inform your Government that racialism did not enter into our consideration at all in the selection of countries to be invited. We were primarily influenced by geography, and, therefore, thought it proper that both Australia and New Zealand should be invited. You will have observed that, with the exception of China, we have not invited any country represented on the Security Council. Since the purpose of the Conference is to help the Security Council, there did not seem much point in asking the countries represented on the Security Council to take part in the Conference. The only exception that we have made is in respect of China, and that for obvious reasons.

p.s. Egypt is also now a member of the Security Council but we have invited her because of her close ties with Asia.

1 In this letter Kevin conveyed to Bajpai the terms of Chifley's acceptance of Nehru's invitation to Australia to attend the Asian Conference in New Delhi (see Document 25).

[AA : A1838, 383/1/25]