66. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Steeves) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Hare)1


  • Semi-Annual Appraisal of Policy for Australia and New Zealand

On October 26, 1960, the Operations Coordinating Board will consider the semi-annual appraisal of policy for Australia and New Zealand.2 It is anticipated that you will represent the Department of State at that meeting. Mr. Arthur B. Emmons, Deputy Director of Southwest Pacific Affairs, and Mr. Edward P. Prince, desk officer on Australia and New Zealand, will be present to assist in whatever manner you desire.

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At present the United States policy toward the two countries is considered in one National Security Council paper (NSC 5713/2)3 which is entitled “Long-Range United States Policy Interests in Australia and New Zealand”. The OCB is being asked to concur in the judgment of the Board Assistants that conditions affecting the operational relationships between the United States and these two countries have become sufficiently diverse as to warrant separate policy treatment for each of them.

Some of the reasons for this recommendation were well stated by the Embassy at Canberra in its Despatch 155 of September 9, 1960,4 as follows:

“In view of recent changes which have taken place, the Embassy is strongly of the opinion that Australia and New Zealand should be treated separately. Such changes include the increased importance of Australia to the U.S. in such fields as outer space, greater Australian interest and activity in the diplomatic field in Asia and other parts of the world, the difference in the attitudes of the two governments regarding Red China and SEATO planning, and the profound differences in the internal economies of the two areas, to mention only a few examples. These, in turn, seem to require divergent treatment of our policies toward the two countries in terms of guidance, long-range potentialities, and objectives.”

The Working Group5 concurred in the views expressed by the Embassy and felt that the reasons for recommending separate policy treatment for Australia and New Zealand were further strengthened by recent evidences of divergent tendencies in the foreign policies pursued by the present Labor Government of New Zealand. The greatly expanded economic strength and influence of Australia in comparison with those of New Zealand were stressed as further factors of significant disparity. However, it is less because of immediate differences than because of the belief that such differences will grow with the passage of time that it appears to be appropriate to initiate separate policy treatment for the two countries.

At the Board Assistants meeting, there was considerable discussion as to the form such separation should take and it was decided to leave this somewhat technical detail open to a flexible interpretation through the use of the phrase “separate policy treatment”. It is possible that the Board itself might wish to initiate a discussion on this point, namely, whether there should be two distinct policy papers, two sections to one paper or simply greater distinctions made under the subject headings of one paper. While such details may not be of sufficient importance to warrant the Board’s consideration, this Bureau tends [Page 225] to favor the separate policy treatment of these countries in two distinct policy documents.6

  1. Source: Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 62 D 430, Australia and New Zealand. Secret. Drafted by Edward P. Prince and cleared by Emmons.
  2. The results of the previous appraisal are in OCB reports on Australia and New Zealand, dated March 2. (Ibid.; included in the microfiche supplement)
  3. Dated August 23, 1957; Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, vol. xxi, pp. 365372.
  4. Not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.43/9–960)
  5. Of the Board Assistants.
  6. At its meeting on October 26, the OCB approved separate policy treatment for Australia and New Zealand and recommended that NSC 5713/2 be reviewed by the National Security Council. (“Semi-Annual Appraisal of Long-Range U.S. Policy Interests in Australia and New Zealand (NSC 5713/2),” November 2; Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 62 D 430, Australia and New Zealand; included in the microfiche supplement)

    Policy review of NSC 5713/2 was not completed in 1960.