790.5/5–2452: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Australia 1

top secret

215. Fol White House luncheon [May 20] the President, Menzies2 and the Secy exchanged private remarks re estab Pac Council. President stated importance US attached to matter, hoped first mtg cld be in Austral and that Secy cld attend.3

In subsequent conversation at Dept4 Menzies raised fol subjs with Secy:

NATO: Austral does not request membership but because NATO decisions have direct effect Austral, some form access NATO planning desirable. Since NATO decisions affect everyone Austral shld have right to be heard with respect gen strategic decisions and especially on matters directly affecting Austral.
Mil Supply Requirements: Supply problem not primarily connected defense Austral territory. Direct attack unlikely; therefore Austral desires be able contribute expeditionary forces where needed in minimum amt time. This problem now more difficult in view Austral growing pains from rapid population increase and need for major development program. Assistance required prepare Austral make proper contributions for example ME where thought given supplying 8 or 9 air squadrons. However cost equipment squadrons $200 million and Austral does not have these dollars. IBRD he said cld not lend for such direct defense purpose. Expressed view uneconomical small countries manufacture this type equipment; preferable large countries supply for smaller.
Southeast Asia: Expressed great concern situation Indochi and feared its loss wld mean loss rest of Southeast Asia. In such contingency Austral people wld never permit desp troops outside area, for example to ME. Apprehensive that in preparing for hot war we might lose cold war in Southeast Asia.

Secy in reply stated we are open minded on desirability NATO working out some method dealing with countries outside NATO area. Austral belief that NATO engaged in global planning, however, based on fundamental misconception. NATO deals solely with defense Eur and we and Brit have always resisted developing NATO into global planning instrumentality. Some of smaller countries [Page 94] NATO even opposed idea same men constituting NATO Standing Group wearing different hats cld give guidance MEC. It is no doubt a defect that there is no place now where internatl global planning is taking place. Secy said we were trying to meet problem through regional orgs—NATO, MEC and the estab of the Pac Council. He stressed that he did not mean by these remarks to detract from tremendous importance of NATO.

On question supplies Secy pointed out US programs even for NATO countries handled on bilateral basis. We have given nr 1 priority to Kor and nr 2 priority to Indochi. Result has delayed deliveries NATO countries as much as 18 months.

Secy told Menzies re Southeast Asia warning to Chi might be helpful but question was what we shld do if warning disregarded. It wld be catastrophic if warning ignored and then nothing done. He pointed out these questions not discussed in NATO but with Pac powers.

On ME Secy stressed importance recognition Egypt king’s title in Sudan and our conviction no stability possible ME until Anglo-Egypt dispute settlement.

In concluding discussion Menzies emphasized importance to Austral Pac Council and desirability getting it started soon. Secy stated we agreed and that he hoped to be free to participate mtg Council some time in July. While Austral mentioned in conversation as possible place for mtg Dept has suggested Wash.

Australs seem pleased progress conversations. Will return Wash June 19–22 after Lond, Ottawa. (More re mtg Pac Council and IBRD negots in separate tel.)5

  1. Repeated to London and Ottawa; pouched to Wellington.
  2. The Prime Minister was in the United States May 16–21 for an informal visit, prior to visits to Ottawa and London.
  3. In telegram 214 to Canberra, May 23 repeated to Wellington, the Department of State stated that the Embassies of Australia and New Zealand had been informed on May 22 that the Secretary wished to attend and would be able to do so if the meeting were held in Washington in mid-July; however, the proposal had been put forth as a suggestion, not a recommendation. (790.5/5–2352)
  4. A lengthier account of this conversation, held May 20, is in a memorandum by G. Hayden Raynor of BNA. (Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 115)
  5. Not printed.