373 Shedden to Chifley

Letter, NEW YORK, 10 May 1949

TOP SECRET AND PERSONAL

I saw Dr. Evatt, the Minister for External Affairs, at his hotel in New York, and showed him copies of my cablegram No. 396[1] of 29th April and the reply of 4th May (No. 82)[2] from the Minister for Defence.

2. Dr. Evatt said that, when he was in Washington last week, he had met the President and the Secretary of State, both of whom mentioned that they had seen me.

3. Dr. Evatt stated that, on asking Mr. Dean Acheson whether everything was going all right, the Secretary of State had replied there were one or two difficulties on the Service side but he felt confident that the matter would finish all right. Dr. Evatt had said that the Prime Minister and he were looking to Mr. Dean Acheson for his active support, and the latter had replied that it would be given. Dr. Evatt added that Mr. Dean Acheson had been impressed with the security measures being taken in Australia and had asked Dr. Evatt to give his fullest support to the new security organisation which had been established. Dr. Evatt had assured him that this would be done. Mr. dean Acheson had spoken in the warmest terms of his meeting with the Prime Minister in 1946.

4. In regard to the 'difficulties' referred to by the Secretary of State, Dr. Evatt told me that there is a strong feeling that Mr. Johnson, Secretary of Defense, who is a partner with Mr. Cowen[3], is to some extent under the latter's influence, and would therefore be guided by his views on any matter affecting Australia.

[matter omitted]

[1] Document 370.

[2] Document 371.

[3] Myron M. Cowen, US Ambassador to Australia.

[AA : A5954, 1795/1]