Memorandum of Conversation, by the Deputy Director of the Office of British Commonwealth and North European Affairs (Satterthwaite)


Subject: Neptune Bombers for Australia and the Pacific Pact

Participants: Mr. Makin, Australian Ambassador
Mr. Webb, Under Secretary
Mr. Colin Moody, Counselor, Australian Embassy
Group Captain C. W. Pearce, Air Attaché, Australian Embassy
Mr. Satterthwaite, BNA

[Here follows a discussion of Australian military purchases.]

Mr. Makin then said that when Spender was here1 he had had discussions with various officials of the United States Government on the possibility of a Pacific Pact. At that time Spender was told that the United States Government was considering the subject, would continue to do so and would communicate with him at some future date. Mr. Spender wanted to know what progress there had been and was there anything we can tell him at this time. Mr. Makin said the Australian Government wanted to have a relationship with the United States the same as it had with the British. Mr. Makin repeated the Australian complaint that although it did and would participate actively in the defense of the free world and would expect to have its troops committed in various places, nevertheless it belonged to no organization where it could make its views felt. He said what the Australian really had in mind was a relationship with the United States in which the two countries recognized their obligations to defend each other from attack in the Pacific. Mr. Webb briefly reviewed Australian-United States relationships and said that he was sure the government and the people of the United States were increasingly aware of the closeness of the ties between the two countries. As we had told Spender, we were actively considering what our relations and commitments in the Pacific should be and what form they should take. We were sure there would be developments soon although we could not say yet just what they would be.

Mr. Makin left an aide-mémoire2 representing its views on a Pacific Pact and requesting comment from the United States.3

  1. Percy C. Spender, Australian Minister of External Affairs and External Territories, had visited the United States in October and early November of 1950. For documentation regarding his conversations held in New York and Washington with U.S. officials, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, pp. 141152, passim.
  2. Of January 11, not printed. (743.5/1–1151)
  3. In a note of January 16 to the Australian Ambassador, the Department of State stated in part that Mr. Dulles was considering a visit to Australia, following a visit to Japan, for the purpose of discussing with Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies and Mr. Spender a Japanese peace settlement and a possible Pacific security arrangement. The U.S. Government was approaching Mr. Menzies, then in London, regarding this possibility through the Embassy there. (743.5/1–1151.) The Dulles Mission, in Japan January 25–February 11 and in the Philippines February 12–13, was in Australia February 14–19.