Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The Minister of Australia38 called and handed to me a personal message from Dr. H. V. Evatt39 as follows:

“We are very concerned at the possible exclusion of Australia from one of the primary positions in connection with the food relief proposals. Our approach to and work on these questions should be of the greatest assistance to the United Nations.”

The Minister then proceeded to say that his Government had seen the British proposal to this Government in regard to trusteeships in relation to dependent peoples. He said his Government was in accord with the British proposal. He then added that his Government would in fact be willing to go a little further and provide that a suitable international authority to oversee the mandate operations should also have authority to deal likewise with colonies and their parent governments. He said that a second more advanced position than the British, which his country favors, would be for an international authority to be clothed with more power to supervise backward peoples and the operations of the government authorities in relation to them. I thanked the Minister and said that I had submitted all the available data on the colonial questions to the President, who has the matter immediately in charge.

The Minister then took up the second matter which he desired to present, as set out in the following communication from Dr. Evatt:

“The suggestion that the executive is to consist of the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and China would relegate important food producing countries like Australia to a secondary role. Our view in this respect is similar to that of Canada.”

It makes the same claim for Australian recognition in the proposed United Nations world food control organization that Canada is seeking for herself. I thanked him for the benefit of his views and suggested that if he desired to go into the details of all phases of this matter, Assistant Secretary of State Acheson, who has been presiding when such elaborate details have been discussed, might well be called upon for any more detailed information in which he might be interested. He said he would be glad to do this.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Sir Owen Dixon.
  2. Australian Minister for External Affairs.