711.4727/50: Telegram

The Consul General at Sydney (Moffat) to the Secretary of State

In two further conversations with Johnston I have endeavored without success to persuade him to agree to an informal temporary arrangement to cover the cases of planes already ordered which would contain the “exact acquisitive terms” of the British arrangement. He maintains unchanged his opinion, reported in my telegram of February 12, 5 p.m., that such an arrangement whether permanent or temporary would not be in accordance either with the principles laid down by the Commonwealth Government or with the Australian practice of issuing their own certificates to foreign aircraft registered in Australia (as opposed to British practice of validating foreign certificates).

In an attempt to meet our position as far as he feels he possibly can, he has now written me a letter modifying in respect of the aircraft already ordered the proposals contained in the Australian note of December 16th. The modification is predicated on his belief, (1), that the present difficulty must be largely, if not entirely, associated with the Australian desire to be supplied with drawings and stress data (in the case of the latter he will be content with a summary the form of which can be left to subsequent discussion if agreed to in principle) and, (2), that very possibly the American authorities are reluctant to assume responsibility of checking and franking the drawings and data supplied by the manufacturers. “If this should be the only obstacle to early agreement,” his letter concludes, “we would be content in the cases of the aircraft ordered to date, viz., products of the Douglas, Stinson and Waco Companies, to accept for the time being the assurances of these firms that the desired information had or was being despatched and covered our requirements pending further discussion as to procedure to apply. That arrangement would enable [Page 779] aircraft ordered to date to enter the Commonwealth without hitch upon production of the documents specified in sections (a), (b), and (c) of subclause 3 of clause 5 of the Department of External Affairs’ letter of December 16th. It is assumed that the certificate of airworthiness for export to Australia would be issued only to new aircraft complying with conditions detailed in subclause 4 of paragraph 5. These documents and requirements resemble closely those stated in the British agreement and the complementary assurance from the manufacturers regarding supply of drawings and data could be given by cable. The arrangement suggested to cover aircraft already ordered is therefore virtually an adoption of the British requirements plus an assurance of the supply of drawings and data from the manufacturers.”