27 Aide-Memoire from United States Embassy to Department of External Affairs

Canberra, 17 November 1950

TOP SECRET

The Embassy of the United States refers to the draft[1] of the statement which the Minister for External Affairs proposes to make in Parliament regarding the desirability of a Pacific Pact and which, through the Australian Embassy in Washington, he made available to the Department of State for comment.

The statement contains one sentence which reads, in part, 'The matter (i.e., a Pacific Pact) is presently being explored by the United States'. The Embassy is instructed to inform the Minister that the inclusion of this phrase in his statement is likely to result in premature questions and speculation embarrassing to the Department of State in its consideration of this question.

The Minister inquired as well whether the Department of State would object to his mentioning the agreement between Australia and the United States for reciprocal use of each other's bases by ships and aircraft. The Embassy is informed that the Department of State believes that, in view of the nature of the agreement, and having in mind possible reaction by other countries, any publicity regarding this matter is undesirable.

The Embassy is instructed as well to convey to the Minister the Department of State's warm appreciation of the opportunity he has afforded it to comment on his statement.

The Australian Embassy in Washington has been informed of the opinions expressed here.

1 Document 26.

[NAA : A6768, EATS77, i]