Cablegram 7808 LONDON, 2 July 1944, 12.56 p.m.
On receipt of your telegram 6051 of 21st June  I took up the
matter with the Chancellor of Exchequer from whom I have now
received reply stating that a fortnight ago he cabled  to Mr.
Curtin enquiring what progress had been made and whether any
assistance was desired from here, also maintaining that there was
little doubt but that the United Kingdom Government would wish to
arrange for the purchase of all uranium concentrates produced in
The Chancellor's letter continues 'I confirm that this project is
absolutely essential and therefore one which in spite of the
manpower position in Australia we should wish to press the
Commonwealth Government to undertake immediately.
The United Kingdom will be prepared to reimburse costs incurred by
the Commonwealth Government in development work, it being
understood, of course, that any ore produced in the course of this
development work would accrue to the United Kingdom Government and
that United Kingdom Government would have an option on subsequent
I notice that the estimate of A45,000 is provisional only and is
subject to considerable increase. Should be glad if the
Commonwealth Government would keep the work under very close
supervision and advise me of any significant increase in proposed
Your Government will no doubt consider it desirable that any
commercial firm employed in work should be employed on an agency
While the basis of cost reimbursement is undoubtedly the most
reasonable arrangement for this preparatory stage, I prefer to
leave open for subsequent discussion the financial arrangements
which would govern larger scale operations which this exploratory
work may, I hope, show to be practicable. Any such arrangements
would naturally have to take account of the initial expense borne
by the United Kingdom Government.
I should be glad to be kept fully informed of the progress of the
work in view of our great interest. I note that you will also be
advising me on the examination of Radium Hill which is to be
In communicating this to your Government perhaps you would be good
enough to express my appreciation of the promptitude with which
action has been taken.'