Your telegram No. 399 of 23rd November.  Rocket range.
We were very glad to hear that our proposals are acceptable to the
Commonwealth Government subject to the conclusion of a
satisfactory agreement covering the financial and other aspects of
the undertaking. General Evetts leaves by sea on 14th December and
is due in Australia about 18th January.
2. We appreciate your wish to have firm proposals regarding use to
be made of Salisbury, and this will be one of first matters to be
discussed between General Evetts and Commonwealth authorities.
3. With regard to paragraph 3 of your telegram, what we had in
mind was a small committee consisting of two or three
representatives of each Government which would meet periodically
to consider the programme of work for the range and financial
questions arising from it. We should hope that this joint body
would enable discussion to take place between experts and that
agreement between them would be reached, but we agree that all
major projects and questions involving provision of largescale
facilities should be submitted to Governments for approval.
4. With reference to paragraphs 4 and 5 of your telegram, we note
that the Australian Government wish to defer a decision on the
question of apportionment of expenditure until further information
is available as to total cost of project and the proportions in
which expenditure will be incurred in the United Kingdom and
Australia. As an early settlement of the financial basis will
conduce to smooth progress of the undertaking, we trust that the
Australian Government will cooperate with us in drawing up as
quickly as possible estimates of cost which, although they will
not be final in all details, will be sufficiently comprehensive
and accurate for the purpose of negotiating financial heads of
agreement. In the meantime there will probably be work which can
and should be put in hand immediately such as construction of the
railway extension from Kingoonya and preparations for establishing
the range head. We should be glad if the Australian Government
would be prepared to enter into commitments for such purposes
without necessarily waiting for conclusion of a financial
agreement and on the understanding that the expenditure will
eventually be apportioned between the two Governments on whatever
basis may be ultimately agreed. We are prepared to authorise
Evetts to agree on our behalf, since we should have a contingent
liability, to commitments for expenditure in Australia up to a
total of (A)500,000, to be shared on ultimately agreed basis. On
our side we should be ready to incur essential commitments in
respect of equipment to be manufactured for the project in this
country on the same understanding as regards eventual
apportionment of cost. In view of your contingent liability in
regard to such commitments we should of course consult you, or
your High Commissioner in London as you may prefer, as to their
scale as soon as requirements are clearer.
5. As regards other than financial terms of the agreement, we
should be grateful if Commonwealth authorities would let Evetts
have in due course a note of the matters which they would like to
see covered and their views upon them. We should welcome
participation of Australian personnel in work done in this country
and can readily agree to give Australian Government full
information about this work.
6. If you agree in principle with proposals in this telegram, I
suggest that subsequent correspondence should take place through
usual Governmental channels.  Ends.