12 Chifley to Beasley

Cablegram 21, CANBERRA, 4 February 1949, 3.45 p.m.

PRIORITY IMMEDIATE SECRET AND PERSONAL

In reply to your message No.32 of 2nd February I now desire you to seek an audience of the King and give him the following personal message as from myself. Message begins:-

I have received the message sent to me by your Majesty's Private Secretary through Mr. Beasley. I desire to point out that the distinction is intended to be conferred upon Dr. Evatt solely by virtue of his Presidency of the United Nations Assembly at Paris and his outstanding service to the cause of the United Nations. As your Majesty will be aware Dr. Evatt is the first British subject to have occupied the position as the choice of 58 Nations. I think it is quite outside the ordinary scope of the matters mentioned in the Private Secretary's communication. I authorised Dr. Evatt to inform the French Government that I offered no objection but that acceptance would of course, I understood, be subject to your Majesty's approval and the French Government was informed accordingly. I would now respectfully request your Majesty to accede to my colleague's acceptance of this unique distinction. It will be realised that the matter is now of some urgency so I have specially asked Mr. Beasley to convey my request to your Majesty in person. Ends.

[AA : A2908, H28]