Cablegram 45  LONDON, 12 February 1944, 9.35 p.m.
Canberra telegram No. 22 of 25th January  regarding Australia-
New Zealand Agreement. 
(1) We have now had the opportunity to examine text of published
agreement in the light of the fuller explanations contained in
your telegram of 25th January. Following are the detailed comments
for which you ask.
(2) We have throughout understood that the Canberra meeting was
primarily designed to further co-operation between Australia and
New Zealand. Full confirmation of this is to be found in
paragraphs 1 to 6. We naturally welcome any steps that may lead to
a strengthening of the ties between members of British
Commonwealth and, we hope, with You, that arrangements now made
between Australia and New Zealand will assist to this result.
(3) Your paragraph 2. Armistices etc. We fully recognise the
importance for the future to both Australia and New Zealand of
European arrangements and welcome the desire of the two Dominions
to cooperate in the machinery for the preservation of peace in the
post-war world. You will, we are sure, recognise that the
representation of individual Governments on the various
organisations that are to be set up to devise the future structure
of Europe is a matter for the decision of the United Nations as a
whole and that account must necessarily be taken of the special
interests of foreign countries situated in the area of functional
responsibilities and of the paramount necessity of keeping
international bodies small if they are to work efficiently. Those
questions seem, in any case, appropriate for discussion at the
forthcoming meeting of the Dominion Prime Ministers.
(4) As regards Armistice and subsequent arrangements in the
Pacific, we have directed our post hostilities planning committee
to undertake an investigation of the position. In so doing, they
will, as already arranged, keep in touch with the Australian and
New Zealand  Liaison officers in London. We are glad to note
that similar committees are to be set up in Australia and New
Zealand and hope that they will keep in touch with our Liaison
Staff in the two Dominions.
(5) Your paragraph 3, U.N.R.R.A. We are in full agreement with
your wish to have the Far Eastern committee eventually located in
Australia. This is, however, clearly a matter in which the United
States views will carry great weight and we have no information
whether or not they would be likely to agree.
(6) Your paragraph 4. Security and Defence.
(1) Planning of general international organisation.
(2) Proposed regional defence zone in South and South-West
We welcome very warmly your offer to share in defence
responsibilities in the Pacific. Pending the working out of an
international scheme and the allocation of the parts to be played
in it by the various nations concerned, we can assure you that so
far as His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom are
concerned, we shall be ready to co-operate in any way in respect
of Pacific Islands under our administration in working out plans
and giving them practical application. See also our general
comments in paragraph 12.
(7) Your paragraph 5. Disposal of Wartime Installations. We are in
agreement with the general principle laid down in this paragraph
with the proviso that its application in certain individual
instances might be affected by the terms of the arrangements made
at the time.
(8) Your paragraph 6. Civil Aviation. Your views have been noted.
The next step in this matter is clearly to ascertain United States
views and we are telegraphing separately as to this.
(9) Your paragraph 7. Dependencies. (b) Combined Civil Affairs
Committee. Please see our telegram of 2nd February Australia No.
35, repeated New Zealand No. 20.  Civil affairs in British
Solomon Islands Protectorate and Gilbert Islands. The High
Commissioner for Western Pacific  has made local arrangements
with Commander-in-Chief, Pacific, which are working satisfactorily
for re-entry of United Kingdom administrative officers with the
United States force. We are most grateful for Australian offer of
additional personnel and of training facilities and will
communicate later with Australia should the Secretary of State for
Colonies find it possible to avail himself of it.
(10) Your paragraphs 8 and 9. Enemy territories and changes of
sovereignty in South and South-West Pacific. We recognise your
interest in these matters and your views have been noted.
(11) Your paragraph 10. South Seas Regional Council. We welcome
your support of the principle of regional councils. We shall be
glad to exchange views on your proposal, and in view of our
interests and responsibilities in Pacific, presume that you will
consult us on any further proposals before approaching any other
(12) We have read with great interest your proposal for an early
conference in Australia between Governments with existing
territorial interests in the South-Western Pacific to discuss the
problems of security, post-war development and native welfare in
that area. You will appreciate that this proposal comes as a new
one to us. We had received no private notice from either of the
two Governments concerned that any public announcement of the kind
was to be made. We have, as yet, no indication of the attitude of
the other states concerned to the proposal, whether they would
regard it as timely or premature, nor have we, ourselves,
completed our studies of the very wide issues involved. In
particular, it seems to us that it may well be necessary to have
some clear idea of 'the framework of a general system of world
security' to which you refer both in the agreement and in your
telegram to us, before the nations concerned can proceed to any
detailed plans for a regional arrangement which must be
constructed to fit into the world system. We feel sure that you
will agree that all these considerations are of very real
importance. In the circumstances, while preserving an open mind as
to your proposal, we feel that it is essential that we should
discuss these matters with you before further steps are taken We
are glad that the forthcoming meeting of Prime Ministers will
provide an opportunity for such discussion.
In the light of our consultations, we can then consider together
what the next step should be. in the meantime we feel that it
would be premature to take steps to call for a definite date the
international conference contemplated in paragraph 34 of the
agreement and we hope that you will defer the issue of invitations
until after the meeting in London when the position may be
Generally, we shall be ready to discuss all the above questions at
the forthcoming meeting of the five Prime Ministers and are
therefore communicating to the Prime Ministers of Canada and South
Africa your telegram and this reply.