314 Burton to Heydon

Cablegram 299, CANBERRA, 26 January 1948, 12.55 p.m.

PERSONAL

Very frankly, I must say that I am very surprised and disappointed that you gave us no hint of the new move by United Kingdom indicated in Bevin's speech.[1] This must have been matter of negotiation with other governments for some time and discussion at London at all levels. It was most embarrassing to the Government to be placed in position of having no opportunity to influence at all United Kingdom policy in a matter of vital concern even involving war. Please let me know fully what arrangements are made for making contact at all levels on matters of policy. We must find out United Kingdom policy before it is finally settled with other governments and that is the purpose of the External Affairs Office at London.

[1] Bevin addressed the House of Commons on 22 January 1948 about the proposal for a union of western Europe. See Document 312, paragraph 2, for the proposal.

[AA : A3196, 1948, O.1112]