88 Burton to New Zealand Government

Cablegram 1 SINGAPORE, 15 January 1949, 6.23 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE CONFIDENTIAL

Asian Conference

We have suggested to Indian Government following general procedure which they have accepted in broad outlines.

(1). Public opening by Nehru confined to welcome and statement of objective followed by statements privately expressed of points of view of governments represented concluding with drafting of communique to Secretary-General, United Nations, which will be made known at a final public session. All should be completed within 3 days. There should be no vote; that is British Commonwealth Conference procedure. In view of [1] you might find it possible to allow Shanahan after reporting text of communique to be associated with it on same basis as everyone else.

In the way while Australia and New Zealand for local political reasons are represented on an official level we could nevertheless take full part from point of view of Asian countries.

Everything will depend on text of communique and all present indications are that it will be strictly in accord with United Nations procedure.

In our public statement [2] we have carefully avoided use of word observer and relied upon difference Minister and Official. This overcomes political difficulty without giving appearance of rejection of invitation to send representative of Government.

Regret [3] but would appreciate you discuss if possible with Shanahan before he leaves.

1 A sign here indicates 'group omitted'.

2 See note 2 to Document 25.

3 A sign here indicates 'mutilated group'.

[AA : A1838, 401/3/1/1, vi]