70 Cablegram From Spender to Harrison

Cablegram, Canberra, 20 March 1951

1661. IMMEDIATE TOP SECRET

With reference to your telegram 1530[1] to the Prime Minister, we adhere to our view regarding the vital importance of a Pacific security treaty including, if we are obliged to accept her because of United States insistence, the Philippines.

2. The fact that the United Kingdom Government has advanced this argument about the attitude of Dulles towards the British Commonwealth for which on all information available to us we can find no foundation, tends to confirm our impression that United Kingdom realize that their objections have little or no real weight. We are in consultation with the New Zealand Government and Watt has been in Wellington for first-hand discussions. We hope to be able to convey joint views to United Kingdom shortly.

3. Meanwhile we have been advised by the United States Embassy that Allison, who is assisting Dulles in this matter, is leaving Washington today for London. We have been assured by United States that his purpose is to acquaint U.S. Embassy London with position on Japanese treaty and related subjects and that he does not propose to have discussions with United Kingdom Government. We have also been assured by United Kingdom that they will not say anything to the Americans on the security treaty until they hear from us. It might, however, be useful if Waller could keep in touch with Allison. From our talks here and subsequent reports from Washington, he appears to be strongly in favour of the conclusion of an agreement.[2]

1 See Document 66.

2 In Cablegram 1604 (20 March) from London, Waller reported that Allison did not intend discussing the Security Treaty with the UK Government until Australia had completed their exchanges with the UK Government. Allison had recommended that these exchanges be concluded 'as soon as possible so that the [Japan] treaty and at least some reference to the security pact could be published simultaneously'.

[NAA : A6768, EATS 77, iii]