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181 D'Alton to Evatt

Dispatch 44/1/43 WELLINGTON, 3 June 1944

I have the honour to refer to your telegram No. 104 of 29th May, to the Acting Minister of External Affairs [1], Wellington, concerning an invitation from the United States to a formal Monetary Conference on 1st July. [2] In your telegram you suggested that the two Governments should exchange views on the attitude to be adopted towards the statement of monetary principles and urged that they should reach an agreement as precise as possible on the application to the monetary proposals of the joint Australia - New Zealand Agreement on international economic collaboration. [3]

2. In this connection, however, I would make the same point as I made previously [4] concerning the International Labour Organisation Conference at Philadelphia, and our approach to the United States on the full employment issue, namely that the chief New Zealand representative will be Mr. Nash, who is still Minister of Finance, and that in the absence of himself and Mr. Fraser from Wellington the New Zealand Government here will be unwilling to issue very explicit instructions to him. In addition, the Government's chief adviser on economic matters, Mr. B. C. Ashwin, Secretary to the Treasury, is on his way to London and he would probably return to Washington to assist Mr. Nash at the talks on monetary policy.

3. I would suggest, therefore, that, if it is hoped to have a joint Australian - New Zealand policy prepared in detail, it may be necessary to refer your precise proposals to the Prime Ministers of our two countries while they are in the United States. As with our proposed joint approach on the full employment issue I would suggest that our policy regarding an International Monetary Agreement should be drafted in detail so that there is little room for misunderstanding or lack of cooperation between the delegates of our two countries.

4. I understand that Mr. Fraser plans to remain in London until some such date as the 10th or 12th June. This will give him an opportunity to have discussions with Mr. B. C. Ashwin, and with Mr. G. A. Duncan, Director, Export Division, Marketing Department, who are due to arrive in London on 6th June. The purpose of their visit and of their discussions with Mr. Fraser is to pursue negotiations for a long-term marketing agreement with the United Kingdom and for a compensating fund to be set up in London to offer increasing prices paid by New Zealand for British imports.


5. Although I have no detailed knowledge of these negotiations, I understand that arrangements covering both these matters have been concluded at least in principle between the United Kingdom and Australian Governments. So far as New Zealand is concerned, I judge that while an agreement on long-term marketing could be assured the question of a stabilisation fund is the point still at issue. While in London for the recent Dominion economic talks [6] Mr. Nash carried on lengthy negotiations for the establishment of this fund and I believe, succeeded in pushing negotiations to the point of agreement to a fund totalling about 12,000,000.

Apparently, however, he was not satisfied with the results of his discussions and left London without a final agreement being reached. It is on this point presumably that Mr. Fraser's discussions, supported by Mr. Ashwin and Mr. Duncan, will be pursued.

6. I understand that, in the recent discussions concerning long- term marketing, Australia House, London, was instructed to keep the New Zealand representatives informed concerning Australia's primary production programme, but I am not aware of the extent to which there has been co-operation between Australia and New Zealand in presenting their ideas on both long-term marketing and on the equalisation fund. I should be glad if you could arrange to have some information concerning these matters supplied to me here so that I would be in a position to judge to what extent the New Zealand Government were carrying out the terms of the agreement regarding a full exchange of information and the pursuance of an agreed policy.


1 On file AA:A989, 44/735/56/7. D. G. Sullivan was N.Z. Acting Prime Minister and Minister of External Affairs.

2 Document 166.

3 See Documents 28 and 29.

4 See D'Alton's dispatch 44/1/39 of 1 June. On file AA:A989, 44/1320/13/3.

5 See Document 155, note 3.

6 i.e. Article VII discussions between the Dominions and India held in February-March.

[AA:A989, 44/735/56/7]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013

Category: International relations

Topic: History