790.5/3–1351: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Australia


237. For the Ambassador from Dulles. Please deliver the following personal and secret message from me to Mr. Spender:

“Thank you for your good letter of March 81 delivered to me through the courtesy of the Australian Embassy in Washington. I was glad to learn that you had presented London with the text of the draft agreement completed in Canberra making clear our position particularly with respect to the Philippines. I returned to Washington on February 26 and the very next day I discussed this matter with Sir Oliver Franks and requested him to obtain officially the views of the United Kingdom foreign office on inclusion of the Philippines. He himself is now in London, but we have not yet had any reply. As a result of our private discussions here in the State Department and with members of Congress since our return, we are convinced of the necessity of the Philippines being invited to be a party to the contemplated [Page 179] security arrangement from the beginning and we made this clear to Franks. Pending further word from London we have not endeavored to get any final clearance in Washington of the Canberra draft, but such informal discussions as we have had lead me to be optimistic concerning this matter, assuming the Philippines can be included.

I unhesitatingly agree with you that we should make every effort to get ahead as fast as possible and that it would be unwise to postpone consideration of any Pacific security arrangement until after the possible meeting of Commonwealth Defense Ministers in May2 which you mention.

Among other reasons is the state of public opinion in Japan which calls for prompt affirmative action on a peace settlement and we know you consider that this matter and the subject of our Canberra talks should move ahead pari passu.

I shall keep you informed of developments here. I would have communicated earlier except that I have been expecting daily to hear from London. If we run into trouble I may suggest that you make a quick trip to London or Washington or both to expound personally the Australian point of view as you suggest might be possible. I still hope that the representations we have both made will make this unnecessary. Best regards. John Foster Dulles.”

  1. Not found in Department of State files.
  2. A conference of Commonwealth Ministers of Defense took place in London June 21–26. The Conference was devoted largely to Middle Eastern questions. Documentation concerning the U.S. attitude towards certain of these questions is included in the regional defense compilation in volume v.