811.24500/4–2546: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Gallman) to the Secretary of State

top secret

4474. For the Secretary and Dunn.37 Evatt this morning outlined to us informally his ideas on an Australia–New Zealand–US defense board. It would be limited in membership to those three countries, Australia and New Zealand representing Commonwealth as Australia is now doing in certain respects in Japan. Board would be modeled on Canadian–US Joint Defense Board and would be on same informal basis. He believed such a board would be fully in accordance with UNO Charter.

Evatt indicated desire of Australian Government and people to meet our wishes on Manus and other bases but felt arrangements satisfactory to US could be made more easily and in form more palatable to Australian people if developed within framework of overall arrangements for defense of Australia and New Zealand as well as of US. He indicated disinclination to discuss proposals for specific US bases in absence of such general planning. He thought board’s area of concern should be Pacific, south of Equator between Canton Island and Borneo.

According to Evatt British have shown some reluctance to accept regional approach on defence of Australasia but in talks of last two days have shown greater acceptance than previously of idea although they are thinking in terms of wider regional arrangement under UNO to include British, French, Portuguese and Dutch, to be discussed at regional conference such as that envisaged in Anzac agreement of 1944.38 Evatt said he saw no objection to some such broader arrangement although it would raise more directly question of Russian participation. In any event he would like to see smaller tripartite board established. He says he has not yet discussed this with British and naturally expects resistance to such a board without UK representation.

He plans to return to Australia via US and would like to discuss this in Washington. He also mentioned possibility of going to Paris at some point to discuss it with the Secretary.

Sent to Department as 4474; repeated to Paris as 305.

  1. James Clement Dunn, Assistant Secretary of State, acting as Deputy to the Secretary at the Council of Foreign Ministers in Paris.
  2. Agreement between Australia and New Zealand relating to security of South and Southwest Pacific regions, signed at Canberra, January 21, 1944. For text of Agreement and for documentation regarding the concern of the United States over the agreement, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iii, pp. 168 ff.