Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 119

Memorandum From the New Zealand Embassy to the Department of State1


Preliminary New Zealand Views on Organisation, Functions and Location of ANZUS Council

1. general approach

New Zealand should seek to establish a relationship with the United States permitting more direct consultation on Pacific problems than is now possible.
Organisation arising out of Treaty should therefore as a minimum provide effective means for exchange of views on political and strategic developments in the area and also for cooperation at the service level on joint defence planning.
Scope of the Council and subsidiary bodies should be confined to political and military questions since the Council is unlikely to achieve in the economic and social field anything that cannot already be achieved through existing agencies and direct exchanges.
In accordance with Article II we must work closely with the United States on plans for defence in the Pacific area.

2. council

Composition—Initial meeting, and, as often as possible, subsequent meetings, should be attended by Foreign Ministers, but normally parties will be represented by deputies. If Washington is the permanent seat Australia and New Zealand would be represented by Ambassadors and United States by a civilian of equal status. Each deputy holding presidency in turn, possibly a year.
Regular meetings—Regular Council meetings should be held once a year (e.g. at time of United Nations Assembly) with special meetings at request of any party.
Functions—The Council might first consider arrangements for consultation on political, strategic and military questions between meetings and steps necessary to implement Article VIII. This would include examination of liaison arrangements between any military committee and existing organs.
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Continuing functions might include periodic review of political and security situation in the Pacific which would give Australia and New Zealand a better opportunity of pressing their views on questions of special concern to them.

Note: Early decisions are necessary on

time and place of first meeting of Council.
possibility of preliminary meetings
at deputy level to discuss agenda,
of military sub-committee
agenda of first meeting.

3. military committee

If the Council is in Washington subsidiary military committee might be created with responsibility for maintaining liasion with existing Pacific defence planning groups and advising and reporting to the Council. It would meet regularly and frequently. New Zealand and Australian representatives could be drawn from service missions in Washington.

The United States Proposal2 is that:

“Military representatives be accredited to the Council to meet periodically as required at Pearl Harbour or to rotate between Pearl Harbour, Australia and New Zealand if that seems preferable. The Commander in Chief of the Pacific fleet, or an alternate designated by him, would be the American representative. In addition in order to assure proper liaison one or two Australian and New Zealand officers of field grade rank might be accredited to Pearl Harbour in a liaison capacity on a regular or an intermittent basis as developments might indicate.”

The New Zealand comment on the United States proposal is as follows:

“It would appear that there is some confusion between requirements for liaison on defence plans between adjoining commands in the Pacific and the broader and more general strategic problems with which we conceive the military committee will be primarily concerned.

“There is a definite need now for liaison with the Commander in Chief, Pacific at Honolulu, on defence problems in the ANZAM3 region and those New Zealand and United Kingdom islands in the South Pacific which are outside that region. This liaison has already been launched in the case of the ANZAM region by the meeting held at Honolulu between Admiral Radford, Admiral Collins4 [Page 100] and Commodore Ballance5 in February 1951.6 We expect that this liaison machinery will now be developed; the efficacy of it would naturally be one of the general questions with which the military committee would be concerned.

“We had conceived the military committee as a standing body which would be concerned with the general strategic problems arising in the Pacific area (which is broader than CINCPAC’s command) and their implications for New Zealand and Australia. Some forum of the kind where we can discuss these broad issues is necessary so enabling us to appreciate their relation to global strategy and the possible effect on our commitments in other theatres. Because the Treaty can give rise to substantial commitments, it is important that the Council should be served by a military committee which is also to study broad strategical questions on a Chiefs of Staff level and whose members would be in a position to give effective advice to their Governments. Moreover in the event of war we will need some machinery of the kind and it would be desirable, therefore, to have it established in peace. The Committee would naturally also be concerned with the efficacy of the liaison machinery covering the problems mentioned in the preceding paragraphs but we do not anticipate that this will present any particular difficulty.

“The obvious location for the military committee in our view is Washington, as the United States Chiefs of Staff and the Defense Department are established there. As to the suggestion of the United States that the committee representatives should meet periodically at Honolulu and other places in the Pacific, it must, in our view have a permanent location which, for the reasons stated, should be Washington, and a regular task. We can appreciate that the United States service authorities will not wish to have an unduly elaborate machinery; we do not envisage any ourselves, but we are concerned to ensure that the machinery established under the Treaty is effective.”

4. location of council

Establishment of the Council in Canberra might lead to ineffective American participation and Washington as the centre of Western defence planning is preferred, especially as providing best access to American military and political planning organisations. Council might, however, in order to emphasise its special concern with Pacific problems, meet in the Pacific area from time to time.

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5. secretariat

Separate permanent Secretariat might be unnecessary since State Department and Embassies could during tenure of their representative as president direct Secretariat which could be provided on joint basis to keep records, receive correspondence, circulate reports, etc.

6. consultation with other states and regional organisations

(Article VIII) New Zealand is anxious to have closest consultation with United Kingdom on operation of Treaty because of its special position not only as a result of its direct participation in ANZAM planning but also because New Zealand and Australia have commitments to the United Kingdom in the Middle East Theatre. Council of Ministers might therefore acknowledge this special position by inviting United Kingdom to send representative to Council meetings and participate in the work of the military committee.

Consultation with Japan and the Philippines as participants in similar security agreements might best be effected by nominating United States as channel of consultation. Any decision to other countries equivalent status to that proposed for United Kingdom should be deferred.

  1. Attached to a memorandum of July 22, by Christopher Van Hollen of the Executive Secretariat. The memorandum reads as follows: “Attached for information are the preliminary views of New Zealand on the organization of the ANZUS Council. These views were presented to Messrs. Raynor and Foster by New Zealand Ambassador Munro on May 27, 1952.” The memorandum and its attachment are designated HON D–2/4 in the series of background papers assembled for the Council meeting, held in Honolulu Aug. 4–6, by a Steering Group chaired by Van Hollen.
  2. See the editorial note, p. 86.
  3. An acronym for “Australia-New Zealand-and-Malaya”. Regarding this Commonwealth regional defense area, see HON Special 4 of July 30, p. 161.
  4. Rear Adm. Sir J. A. Collins, First Naval Member of the Naval Board of Australia.
  5. Commodore F.A. Ballance, Chief of the Naval Staff and First Naval Member of the Naval Board of New Zealand.
  6. A résumé of these talks, held in Honolulu Feb. 26–Mar. 2, 1951, is in HON D–2/2, July 28, not printed. (Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 119)