With regard to the offer  to me yesterday afternoon of the post
at Washington, I am deeply sensible of the confidence reposed in
me. It is indeed a tempting offer in view of the magnitude of the
issues which will be dealt with during the period suggested. I am,
as you know, anxious to serve where I can be of most use. I have
had some doubts whether my health will stand the strain of the
travel involved and of the onerous work at Washington. However, if
the Government is willing to take the risk, I am.
If I may say so I do not agree that the idea of my being Minister
to China and Acting Minister to the U.S.A. is a feasible
proposition from the diplomatic point of view. It would be
regarded as undignified both to Australia and the countries
concerned and would be embarrassing for me, giving the idea that
we have not the men to fill these posts. The matter could be
managed as described hereunder and I am willing to take the
position on these terms.
(1) Agreements should be obtained for my appointment as Australian
Minister to the U.S.A. and my appointment to Chungking be
(2) It is understood between the Government and myself that I
shall stay at Washington at least six months and if you then wish
me to move to Chungking or some other suitable post to complete
the term of my original appointment  I am prepared to do so and
the agreement for that could then be obtained.
(3) It could be announced that I hope to resume my post at
Chungking at a later date.
(4) In view of the heavy work involved at Washington I should like
to take Mr. Waller  who has had long experience of work with
The Chinese are sensitive and to prevent their feeling any
grievance I suggest that Mr. Officer should be given the status of
Minister at Chungking and, to the same end, I feel strongly that
the extraterritoriality treaty should be settled before I go. In
view of the great length of the negotiations, any further delay
will cause ill feeling and I should be authorised to present to
them a draft which the Government will accept. I am not prepared
to present them with a tentative draft.
If the terms I have suggested are not suitable I am content to go
back to Chungking. The question of staff for that post must be
settled immediately whether I go or not.
F. W. EGGLESTON