The First Secretary of the British Embassy (Wright) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle)

Ref: 56/43/44

My Dear Mr. Berle: In the course of your conversation on January 28th you asked Sir R. Campbell26 whether he could give you any information on the report that there was to be a further British Commonwealth discussion of civil aviation in London, and in particular, if the report was correct, on what level the discussion would take place and what would be the terms of reference.

We have now been informed that a technical conference was called on the subject of radio for civil aviation of which the first meeting was held in London on February 1st. Expert representatives from the Nations of the Commonwealth and from the Commonwealth Empire were invited to attend. The purpose of the conference was to gather expert views in relation to common radio service for civil aircraft. These exploratory discussions, I am informed, are simply to be regarded as preliminary to an international conference.

The following quotation from the address to the conference by the Chairman, Sir Stafford Cripps, will give you an indication of the purpose and scope of the meeting: [Page 375]

“We do not wish to do more than clarify our own ideas and pool our own knowledge so that when it comes to wider discussions, we may be in a position to put forward most useful suggestions. … What we seek to do is to find the best technical answers to questions posed so that we can recommend to each of our Governments a common line of action and collaboration. … It is suggested that when we have thus formulated the best technical advice that we can for our Governments, they will be in a position to enter upon informal discussions on this subject matter with the United States and the U.S.S.R. and eventually with all the United Nations.”

I also note that according to the press there is at some future date to be a meeting of the Prime Ministers of the various Commonwealth countries and there have been unofficial reports that this conference will devote some discussion to civil aviation. The Ambassador has asked London for information about this.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Wright
  1. Sir Ronald I. Campbell, British Minister in the United States.