74 Cablegram From Harrison to Spender

Cablegram, London, 22 March 1951

1673. TOP SECRET PERSONAL

1. I saw Gordon Walker this afternoon and stressed the vital importance and urgency of matters set out in your telegram 1853.[1] I told him that any delay on his part might result in circulation of an American version of the Peace Treaty unaccompanied by some fairly specific reference to collateral security and stressed the effect that this would have in Australia.

2. I underlined the doubt that Australia had the wisdom or usefulness of the United Kingdom expressing its views to the United States on this subject and I hoped that if they had any views they should express them immediately as time was running out.

3. Walker replied that he would see the Foreign Secretary immediately regarding timing of release of Peace Treaty and pact. They had some knowledge of United States attitude regarding release of the treaty and felt that so far as United Kingdom was concerned they were not yet prepared for an early release. Walker added that any delay regarding the pact that was occasioned at the United States end had nothing to do with the United Kingdom because the United Kingdom had not indulged in any talks with the United States of America on the pact. Walker said that he was glad to note para.14 in your message and pleased to see that Australia saw eye to eye with the United Kingdom on this point.

4. Regarding the Philippines he would endeavour to get in touch with other Ministers if they could be reached during Easter to study our views. The whole Cabinet feels very strongly on inclusion of Philippines and Australia must not forget that United Kingdom has to consider the effect which this would have on public opinion. To publish the pact as it now stands would emphasise not only to the United Kingdom but to other interested countries in the South-West Pacific what was included in the pact and what was omitted.

5. Because of the Easter holidays he felt it was highly improbable that the United States would proceed further with the Japanese Peace Treaty until Easter was over. Meanwhile the United Kingdom Government would urgently consider the points raised. They did not intend to take any precipitate action and they strongly hoped that Australia would avoid any precipitate course until they had heard from United Kingdom again.

1 Presumably a reference to Cablegram 1753 (22 March) to Harrison (see note 1 to Document 73) conveying the text of Document 71.

[NAA : A6768, EATS 77, iii]