385 Upton[1] to Burton

Minute, CANBERRA, 8 July 1948

External, London, have advised that the Canadian Government has recently suggested to C.R.O. that there should be informal talks between British Commonwealth Governments regarding instructions to be given to diplomatic and consular officers overseas in the event of emergency. It seems probable that the immediate reason for the Canadians raising the issue is the serious situation in Berlin. As the position of the Western Powers may deteriorate further in the near future necessitating the withdrawal of our Military Mission it would be desirable to make some plans in advance. Co-operation on a British Commonwealth basis is considered desirable as we may have to rely on the United Kingdom for transport in the event of an emergency withdrawal becoming necessary.

On more general grounds, it is no doubt desirable to have exploratory talks on this matter.

[1] Gordon Upton, Third Secretary, Political Section, Department of External Affairs.

[AA : A1838, 1580/1, I]