REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE AGENDA
(Pacific Conference Papers, Agenda No. 3)
In accordance with the direction of the conference in Resolution
No. 4 , I have the honour to report as follows:-
A committee of advisers nominated by the New Zealand and
Australian delegations to the conference met on the afternoon of
17th January, and examined the conference Agenda and the Notes on
the Agenda  with a view to discovering the points on which the
two delegations seem to be in substantial agreement.
The results of this committee's work are set out below, the
references in all cases being to the paper entitled 'Notes on the
Agenda' (Pacific Conference Papers, Agenda No. 1)-
Item 1 of the Agenda
Paragraphs 1 to 7. The New Zealand delegation is in agreement
regarding the objectives of Australian - New Zealand co-operation,
but holds the view that the co-ordination of defence measures
referred to in paragraph 7 would raise technical problems which
would have to be worked out in conjunction with service advisers
apart from the present conference.
Item 3 (a)
The two delegations are in agreement regarding paragraph 8 and
paragraph 9, sub-paragraphs (i), (iii) and (iv).
They were unable to reach agreement on paragraph 9, sub-paragraph
(ii) which raises the point whether or not a definite peace treaty
as regards one theatre of war should be agreed to, prior to a
global peace treaty at the conclusion of hostilities in all
theatres. The committee agreed that this principle could only be
decided on the highest political plane and should therefore be
decided in full conference.
Paragraph 10 would be acceptable to the New Zealand delegation if
the words 'in the Pacific Area' were deleted from the third line.
This would have the effect of making the paragraph apply to all
armistice commissions and not only to those set up in the Pacific
Area. Subject to this amendment the two delegations have agreed to
The two delegations agreed to paragraph 11, their understanding
being that the references to 'other machinery' in line 3 might be
taken to include the High Commissioners appointed by Australia to
New Zealand and by New Zealand to Australia.
Paragraph 12 was agreed to. The view held by the committee was
that the communication to London referred to in this paragraph
should be part of a general communication agreed to by both
delegations embodying the views and conclusions of the conference
in regard to which the United Kingdom Government should be
informed. This point is therefore submitted to the Conference for
Item 3 (b)
Paragraphs 13 to 16 were agreed to, subject to amendment noted
On paragraphs 17 and 18 the New Zealand delegation felt that the
question of assuming separate or joint responsibility in regard to
policing arrangements in the South West and South Pacific Zones
should be considered by Conference.
On paragraphs 19 to 21 there was agreement in principle, subject
to the following:-
The New Zealand Government wishes there should be a clear
understanding as to the distinction between systems of regional
defence and the international organization for peace, or in other
words, between regional defence and regional security as part of
the world organization. For the international organization of
peace a universal arrangement is envisaged but it is considered
that a regional organization of security in itself would be
incomplete inasmuch as the sanctions would be limited and inasmuch
as those powers entering into a regional arrangement might deprive
themselves of a voice in world affairs.
To meet the New Zealand point of view it is suggested that
references to a 'zone of security' in paragraph 13, line 4, and in
paragraph 19, line 2, should be amended to read 'defence zone'.
The New Zealand view is that this defence zone should be extended
eastwards beyond New Zealand, and accordingly an amendment to the
first three lines of paragraph 19 as follows would meet the wishes
of the New Zealand Government:-
'The Australian and New Zealand Governments envisage a defence
zone centred on Australia and New Zealand and stretching from the
Netherlands East Indies through the arc of islands to Fiji and New
Zealand, including the Tonga and Cook Islands.'
In discussion of these paragraphs the question of a more
comprehensive defence zone involving an outer arc of islands was
raised and it was suggested that this might well be made the
subject for a wider conference at which other Pacific Governments
would be represented.
On paragraph 21 the view of the New Zealand delegation was that
similar questions to those considered by the Australian Defence
Committee would have to be submitted by the New Zealand Government
to their Chiefs of Staff for technical examination with a view to
subsequent integration of the desiderata of both the New Zealand
and Australian Governments.
Paragraph 22 was agreed to.
Item 3 (C)
Substantial agreement was reached on most of the principles
contained in paragraphs 23 to 26, but the New Zealand delegation
had certain reservations on the statement of principles,
particularly the point contained in sub-paragraph 2(b) of
paragraph 25. As regards subparagraphs 2(c) and 2(d) of paragraph
25, the New Zealand delegation suggested that the interests of New
Zealand should also be covered in any arrangements such as that
The committee agreed however that, in accordance with paragraph
27(ii), there should be an exchange of views between the
Governments during the present conference and that the
modification desired by New Zealand might properly be discussed
when that point on the agenda was reached.
Paragraph 28 was agreed to.
Item 3 (d)
Paragraph 29 was accepted and it was decided to refer to the
conference the question of the method on which the regular
exchange of information and views should take place.
The information given in paragraphs 30 and 31 was noted.
Paragraphs 32 to 34 were agreed to.
On paragraph 35 the New Zealand delegation supported the general
principle but felt that they did not have enough experienced
officers available to enable them to participate in the proposed
course of action. The Committee accordingly recommends that the
paragraph read as follows:-
'It is submitted further that the two Governments inform the
United Kingdom Government that Australia is prepared to make
available a number of experienced officers and is prepared to
institute immediately &c., &c., &c.'
Paragraph 36 was agreed to.
It was agreed to refer paragraph 37, sub-paragraphs (i) and (ii)
to the conference. It was agreed that sub-paragraph (iii) be
omitted. The New Zealand delegation made a strong point of their
desire to retain all present British interests and sovereignty in
the Pacific and on subparagraph (i) they expressed the view that
if Australia wished to take over the administration of the Solomon
Islands that would become a matter for mutual arrangement between
the Australian and the United Kingdom Governments.
Sub-paragraph (iv) of paragraph 37 was agreed to subject to the
inclusion of New Zealand islands and mandated territories in the
list of territories mentioned in sub-paragraph (iv) and other
British territories south of the Equator. Sub-paragraph (v) was
Paragraph 38 was agreed to.
Item 3 (e)
Paragraphs 39 to 42 were agreed to.
Item 3 (f)
Paragraph 43 was agreed to. It was assumed, however, that it would
be physically impossible to hold this conference until after the
projected Prime Ministers' conference in London.
Item No. 4
Paragraphs 44 to 46 were agreed to. The committee recommends that
47(a) read as follows :-
'Conferences of Ministers of State to be held alternately in
Canberra and Wellington, and that it should be the aim of the two
Governments to see that such conferences are held at least twice a
The information given in paragraph 48 was noted.
Agreement in principle was reached on paragraph 49, but the
committee suggests that the words 'permanent machinery for
consultation' be substituted for 'permanent secretariat'.
Regarding paragraph 50, it was the view of the committee that the
best arrangement for creating this machinery for ensuring joint
consultation and collaboration would be the setting up in each
country under the control of the respective Departments of
External Affairs of an Australian - New Zealand Affairs
This secretariat should be charged with the functions referred to
in paragraph 49, and take the initiative in ensuring that effect
is given to the arrangements made by Australia and New Zealand at
the present conference and in raising for joint discussion and
action such other matters as may seem from day-to-day contact with
the general trend of affairs to require attention by the two
Governments; and generally to provide for more frequent and
regular exchanges of information and views, such exchanges between
the two Governments to take place normally through the respective
It is proposed that the Government of each country should nominate
an officer or officers from the staff of their respective High
Commissioners to act in closest collaboration with the
Secretariat, in which they would be given full and free access to
information and the responsible officials.
It is further considered that the respective Ministers of External
Affairs and High Commissioners should have a joint responsibility
for the effective functioning of what would virtually be a joint
Paragraph 51 was agreed to.
Paragraph 52 was agreed to.
H. V. EVATT