The British Ambassador (Lothian) to the Secretary of State3
At the instance of His Majesty’s Government in the Commonwealth of Australia I have been instructed to ascertain informally whether the establishment of an Australian Legation in Washington would be agreeable to the Government of the United States, and, in the event of the answer being in the affirmative, whether the United States Government would have any objection to an Australian Legation being opened under the direction of a Chargé d’Affaires pending the arrival of a Minister whose appointment His Majesty’s Government in the Commonwealth of Australia would propose to defer for some two or three months.
I have been instructed to intimate that His Majesty’s Government in the Commonwealth of Australia would welcome the simultaneous establishment of a United States Legation at Canberra.4
- Handed to the Secretary of the State on November 27, 1939, by the British Ambassador.↩
- This official approach was the outcome of previous informal discussions. As early as April 28, 1939, the American Consul General at Sydney telegraphed that the Australian Prime Minister announced over the radio on April 26 his intention to exchange Ministers with the United States and Japan if possible before the end of the year. In its reply on April 29, the Department instructed the Consul General that he might in his discretion encourage the idea of an exchange of Legations. (847.00/295.124.47/6a)↩