South Seas Regional Commission.
1. It will be recalled that in January last we raised  with you
the question of the establishment of a South Seas Regional
Commission when you intimated  your willingness to exchange
views on the proposal and your desire that we should consult with
you before approaching any other country. We have now given
further consideration to Articles 30 and 31 of the Australian -
New Zealand Agreement  and feel that immediate steps should be
taken to establish the Commission. With this end in view we would
appreciate an early expression of your views as to the general
framework of the Commission and the manner and timing of an
approach to the other Governments concerned.
2. Statements of the Colonial Secretary and discussion at the
meeting of Prime Ministers  made it clear, we believe, that
there is agreement on the general principles of regional
commissions, namely, that they should be advisory bodies set up by
the Governments with interests in the region as Colonel Stanley
stated to 'provide effective and permanent machinery for
consultation and collaboration so that the States concerned might
work together to promote the well-being of the Colonial
territories'. As advisory welfare bodies they would have no
functions involving supervision or security.
3. We propose the Commission might take the following general
(a) The Commission proper consisting of representatives of the
Governments and administrations in the Region;
(b) A Secretariat;
(c) Research and functional bodies established by the member
Governments on the advice of the Commission.
Provision should be made for associating with the work of the
Commission existing research and functional bodies. In appropriate
cases the member Governments should nominate representatives of
the native peoples to take part in the work of the Commission and
its agencies. In addition, we consider that there should be held
regularly a South Seas Conference for the discussion of Pacific
Islands problems. This Conference might comprise nominees of
Governments represented on the Commission (these nominees to
represent administrations, scientific bodies, missionary bodies
and native peoples) together with nominees of international
organisations interested in South Seas affairs (e.g. the I.L.O.
and the Food and Agriculture Organisation).
4. These ideas are expressed in general terms as we desire to have
the views of the United Kingdom Government on this proposal.
Nearly all of the region for which the Commission is proposed is
now outside the area of military operations and we feel that much
is to be gained politically as well as from the standpoint of
native welfare by proceeding rapidly with the establishment of the
Commission. We would consider early 1945 as a target date for the
establishment of such a Commission and would welcome an expression
of the views of the United Kingdom Government as a first step in
convening a conference of interested countries.