840.50/746a: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )

5143. We have learned from our Legations in Ottawa and Canberra that the British Government has proposed a series of talks in London “at the end of October on the Upper Civil Servant Level” on postwar economic and financial arrangements. Canada will be represented by Mr. Hume Wrong and Professor Mackintosh of the Department of External Affairs. Australia will be represented by Dr. Roland Wilson, Commonwealth Statistician and Permanent Head of the Australian Labor Department. Dr. Wilson passed through Washington en route to London last week.

Our Legation in Canberra has reported that South Africa declined to send representatives to take part in these conversations and that there has been some feeling among the more liberal permanent officials in Australia that the talks may not be entirely desirable. A Canadian official informed our Minister in Ottawa that “Canada was not happy about holding these talks before the U. S.–U. K. conversations; Canada was equally unhappy at direct U. S.–U. K. conversations from which she would be entirely excluded”.

Apparently these conversations have been arranged very confidentially. We assume that we would have had some reports on them [Page 228] from the Embassy if the Embassy had known of these forthcoming conversations. We of course desire to receive all of the information concerning the conversations which you may be able to obtain.