390 Burton to Makin

Dispatch 1/48, CANBERRA, 23 August 1948

SECRET

I have the honour to inform you that the Australian Government has decided recently to strengthen its Service Representation abroad. In accordance with this decision, Australian Defence Representatives are being appointed in London, Washington and Wellington. The officers who have been chosen to fill these posts in the first instance are:

(a) Australian Defence Representative, London:

Major-General A. J. Boase, C.B.E.

(b) Australian Defence Representative, Washington:

Major-General J. A. Chapman, D.S.O.

(c) Australian Defence Representative, Wellington:

Brigadier G. H. O'Brien, C.B.E.

Major-General Chapman's tour of duty will be from his date of appointment until the end of 1949. These posts will be filled subsequently in rotation by officers of the Navy, Army and Air Force.

2. The approved arrangements are described in detail in an extract from an Australian Government Memorandum, dated 23rd May, 1947, entitled Co-operation in British Commonwealth Defence. A copy of this extract and a copy of the directive to the Australian Defence Representative in the United States of America are enclosed for your information. Copies of these documents are being sent also to Major-General Chapman.

3. It will be noted from paragraph 21 of the attached extract from the Australian Government's Memorandum of 23rd May, 1947, that the initial establishment of the staff of the Australian Defence Representative in the United States of America will be one officer of the equivalent rank of Lieut.-Colonel. Wing-Commander W. E. Townsend, R.A.A.F., has been nominated for the post of Staff Officer to the Defence Representative for the period 1948/1949. Action to appoint this officer, however, will await receipt of advice of the concurrence of the United States Authorities with the appointment of the Australian Defence Representative and a staff officer.

4. It will be noted also that the duties of the Australian Defence Representative in Washington, as specified in the directive and in paragraph 20 of the extract from the Australian Government Memorandum, include accreditation as representative of the Australian Defence Department, the Defence Committee and Chiefs of Staff Committee to the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff and Combined Chiefs of Staff.

5. In view of the recent re-organisation of the United States Higher Machinery for the control of the Armed Forces, including the appointment of a Secretary of Defense and the introduction of a number of joint-Service committees under the control of the Secretary of Defense in the form of 'non-departmental agencies of the National Military Establishment', it is considered that it would be desirable from the Australian point of view for Major-General Chapman to be accredited to the office of the Secretary of Defense and to have access to the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff and, as necessary, to the non-departmental agencies of the national Military Establishment.

The primary object, however, is to secure facilities for consultation on joint-Service matters on a Service official level between the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Australian Chiefs of Staff. The extent to which it will be possible to secure suitable accreditation to the various organisations in the United States National Military Establishment, and the best method of approach will, of course, be a matter for your judgment in the light of your personal knowledge of the position in Washington and the attitude of the United States Joint Service Authorities.

The United States Service Authorities are willing to release certain classes of military information if it is communicated only to Australian Service Authorities through Service channels. It will be noted in this connection from paragraph 22 of the attached extract of the Australian Government Memorandum that the Australian Defence Representative will be in a position to communicate on Service matters through a Service channel with the Australian Joint Service Organisation.

6. Would you please take appropriate action to notify and obtain the concurrence of the United States Authorities with the appointment of the Australian Defence Representative in Washington and of his staff officer, and arrange to place Major-General Chapman in touch with the office of the Secretary of Defense, the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff and other non-departmental agencies of the National Military Establishment, as considered desirable.

7. It is requested also that Major-General Chapman should be suitably accredited to the Combined Chiefs of Staff Organisation and that he should be afforded such assistance as is necessary for him to carry out his functions in relation to the United Nations Organisation.

8. I should be grateful if you could arrange for this Department to be notified by cablegram as soon as you have received the concurrence of the United States Authorities to the above suggestions.

[AA : A1068, DL47/5/2A]