811.24546/5: Telegram

The Minister in Australia (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

60. Department’s 47, October 15, 7 p.m.4 was communicated by conversation and aide-mémoire to Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs last evening and I am now in receipt of decision of Government in form of aide-mémoire dated today and initialed by Prime Minister. Decision has been approved by War Cabinet.

Commonwealth Government welcomes proposals and expresses willingness to cooperate in providing air bases at places listed in abovementioned telegram coming under Australian jurisdiction.

Commonwealth Government takes cognizance of desire of War Department to leave construction to it and states it would welcome technical and financial assistance proffered.

Having accepted proposal in principle, blanket permission is granted to the War Department of the United States or its officers to communicate with local officials in order that surveys may be made separately or jointly with other concerned authorities or for entry of construction parties into sites selected for the construction of aerodromes as may [Page 576]be jointly decided as suitable. Necessary instructions are to be issued to concerned authorities.

The views of the United States Government as to urgency of this matter are shared by the Commonwealth Government which desires to cooperate to fullest possible degree as regards bases in its territories.

Prime Minister also informed me that this Government would welcome early specification of needs and desires of War Department and possible indication as to responsible War Department authorities through and with whom details can be worked out as necessary.

Paraphrase Department’s 47 being sent Wellington by air but cannot reach there before October 22nd. Does Department desire Cox5 to reply through this office?

Johnson
  1. This telegram repeated telegram No. 4458, October 15, 7 p.m., to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom, p. 573.
  2. Raymond E. Cox, Consul General at Wellington.