I am obliged to you for your letter of even date.  Except in a
necessarily limited way Australian representatives abroad and
Defence Department officials attached to your Mission neither have
nor can be expected to have that intimate and detailed knowledge
of the external and foreign policy of this country for which my
department and I are responsible. I know you are regarding the
London Conference as one concerned primarily with war and defence.
But it is my bounden duty to see that your Mission is as fully
equipped as possible to enable you to meet on at least an equal
footing the other Prime Ministers if external political policy is
discussed. They will almost certainly be accompanied by the
permanent heads of the departments dealing with foreign policy and
foreign affairs. Mr. Fraser's chief technical adviser will be Mr.
McIntosh, Secretary of the New Zealand External Affairs
Department. Therefore I most strongly recommend you to include in
your party Colonel Hodgson whose intimate knowledge not only of
the general but of the day by day working of our foreign policy
may turn out to be important in the success of your Mission.
You can take it absolutely that the administration of the
Department of External Affairs will not be prejudiced in any way
by his temporary absence. Indeed, I should be assisted as a result
of his coming into personal touch with many officers of my
department abroad-which is both desirable and necessary. In the
circumstances I do not think it would be satisfactory either to
you or to me if I nominated any officer of less standing.
My wife and I are delighted that Mrs. Curtin is able to accompany
you: and we wish you both every success, all good fortune and good
H. V. EVATT