Dispatch 44/1/2 (extract) WELLINGTON, 8 January 1944
I have the honour to inform you that on 7th January, the day prior
to my departure for Auckland on my way to Australia, I had a long
interview with the Prime Minister. Mr. Fraser discussed the
forthcoming conference to be held in Canberra and made several
observations which I think are of considerable interest.
2. Speaking of the future of New Caledonia, Mr. Fraser said that
he would not like to see the French ousted from this possession.
Such a step would, he felt, come about only from American pressure
and would result in complete American occupation. He expressed the
view that New Zealand would be willing to share responsibility for
the defence of New Caledonia.
3. Mr. Fraser also informed me that New Zealand had no wish to
upset the scope or authority of the British High Commissioner in
the Western Pacific. He took the view that everything must be done
to maintain Britain's interest in this area. (I might add that
there is a certain feeling here that Britain has already lost
interest in the Pacific and that the omission of any air links
between America and Australia and New Zealand in the proposals
decided upon by Lord Beaverbrook's inter-Dominion conference on
civil aviation  is held to be indicative of this trend.)
4. In speaking of future armistices, Mr. Fraser said definitely
that, despite his Government's previous attitude to the signing of
the armistice with Italy, New Zealand wished to play a full part
in arrangements so far as the Pacific was concerned.
1 See Document 2, note 2.
[AA:A4231, WELLINGTON, 1943-44]