Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Perkins) to Mr. John Foster Dulles, the Consultant to the Secretary


Subject: Australia and a Possible Pacific Mutual Defense Arrangement

Australia for some time has sought a closer relationship with the U.S. to enable it to participate in high-level Washington planning which might later involve the disposition of Australian forces or material. We believe unless some form of a closer relationship satisfying Australia is provided for, we will not get the backing from them for the type of peace treaty with Japan which we want. While it is possible that some form of Pacific pact could be worked out which would convince Australia it thereby got this closer relationship with the U.S., it is likely that an acceptable pact in itself would not be attractive enough to Australia to bring it around to our views on Japan.

It is recommended, therefore, in order to make sure we have enough cards to accomplish our objective, that we obtain before you leave the approval of the Department of Defense on the recommendation made in the Department’s letter to the Secretary of Defense on November 12 [24] 1950, that Australia be invited to send a military mission to Washington.1 Once the approval of the Department of Defense has [Page 141] been obtained, it will then be possible to use our willingness to accept the mission as a bargaining lever in our discussions with Australia on the Japanese peace settlement.2

  1. For documentation regarding the question of an Australian military mission, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, pp. 225228.
  2. In a letter of January 16 to Mr. Acheson, Secretary Marshall stated that the views of the JCS on this question had been obtained and quoted them as follows:

    “The Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that, from the military point of view, any possible advantages to be gained as a result of inviting the Australian Government to send a high level military mission to Washington would be transitory and, in all probability, negligible; on the other hand, they perceive serious and far-reaching military disadvantages in having such a group in Washington, particularly in light of the present and projected status of the United States planning for a global war.”

    In conclusion Mr. Marshall stated: “In the event that any similar proposal is advanced by the Australian Government, it is requested that no encouragement be given it without the prior clearance of the Department of Defense.” (Lot 54D423)