316 Beasley to Evatt

Cablegram 26, LONDON, 30 January 1948, 6.10 p.m.

SECRET

At High Commissioners meeting 30th January McNeil said in answer to question from myself that at present stage no Commonwealth discussions were necessary on Bevin plan for closer co-operation with Western Europe. At present discussions were proceeding on basis that first step would be conclusion with Benelux[1] countries of treaties on lines of Anglo-French Treaty of Dunkirk and these would be followed by studies of prospects of commercial agreements. McNeill personally was doubtful whether study group, resuming its meetings at Brussels, would have positive results and his personal opinion was best hope for commercial agreements lay in substantial extension of existing bilateral arrangements.

[1] Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

[AA : A1838, 81/2/1]