Conference files, lot 59 D 95, CF 139

Position Paper Prepared for the Secretary of State1


UK Interest in ANZUS


In the spring of 1952 the UK began a series of approaches to the US, Australia and New Zealand in connection with its desire to participate in ANZUS at least to the extent of having a UK observer attend meetings of the ANZUS Council. Since that time, the three countries have informed the UK on many occasions and at various levels that the ANZUS signatories appreciate UK interests and responsibilities in the Pacific; that they are bearing these interests and responsibilities in mind; and that they are keeping the UK currently and fully informed of ANZUS proceedings and plans.

Although the New Zealanders have been particularly distressed by the pressure directed at them by the mother country, they and the Australians have continued to adhere to the decision reached by the ANZUS Council at its Honolulu meeting last August. (See “US Position”)2 The Secretary of the New Zealand Department of External Affairs3 has told us that he is strongly opposed to any expansion of ANZUS at this time. We know that the Australians have been considerably irritated by the UK attitude, by the “inspired” stories which have appeared in the British press, and by Mr. Churchill’s failure to tell Canberra what line he proposed to take in New York in January and, later, to render an account of the meeting. Last October Prime Minister Menzies told an officer of our Embassy at Canberra that he considered one of Mr. Churchill’s messages to him on this subject to be a “stinker”. Last week, Mr. Alan Watt, Secretary of the Australian Department of External Affairs, visited Washington and told us that his Government remains as firmly as ever of the view that UK participation in ANZUS at this stage would be unwise. He added that he believed Mr. Eden felt even more strongly about this matter than Mr. Churchill (though this has not been our impression).

It has been hoped that the development of the five-power liaison group for the consideration of the defense of Southeast Asia would provide the UK with a satisfactory substitute for formal participation [Page 280] in ANZUS. This hope is shared by the Australian and New Zealand Governments.

[Here follows a résumé of developments covered in previous documentation.]

If Mr. Eden presses you, you might suggest to him that the US would be willing to study and to recommend for consideration by the ANZUS Council the suggestion made by Prime Ministers Menzies and Holland to Mr. Churchill at London last December (and contained in the memorandum Mr. Churchill handed you at New York) that a relationship be established between ANZAM (the UK–Australian-New Zealand military planning organization) and the military representatives group of ANZUS.4

  1. Prepared for Dulles’ talks with Eden, who was in Washington Mar. 4–7. For documentation on his visit, see volume vi.
  2. That portion of the paper is not printed.
  3. A. D. McIntosh.
  4. No indication that an ANZUSANZAM relationship was raised by or discussed with Eden during his visit has been found in Department of State files.