343. Memorandum of Conversation0
- Mr. McGeorge Bundy, Sir Howard Beale (Australian Ambassador) and Michael V. Forrestal
- ANZUS Treaty and Malaysia
At 5:15 pm today Ambassador Beale came to Mr. Bundy’s office for a discussion of U.S. obligations under the ANZUS Treaty with respect to Australian armed forces stationed in Malaysia.
Mr. Bundy handed to Sir Howard a paper (copy attached) outlining the United States interpretation of its obligations under the ANZUS Treaty. Mr. Bundy explained that the President desired that the information contained in the paper be conveyed to Prime Minister Menzies, so that there would be no misunderstanding between allies who were so close and intimate as the United States and Australia. Mr. Bundy emphasized that the paper was not an official communication and did not require formal acceptance by the Australian Government, although he would certainly wish to hear any comments the Ambassador or the Minister of External Affairs might have.
Sir Howard said that he understood completely; and that the paper would surely reach the Prime Minister, since it would be carried back to [Page 748] Canberra by Sir Garfield Barwick. The Ambassador said that, speaking personally, the paper accurately reflected his understanding of the situation; and that he would show it to Sir Garfield this evening and drop by in the morning before the meeting with the President to Mr. Bundy’s office if the Minister, for External Affairs had any comments. Mr. Bundy observed that in the midst of a political campaign in Australia, there might well be occasions where allusions were made to U.S. obligations under the ANZUS Treaty in connection with Malaysia. It would be helpful to us if we were informed of the nature and scope of any such statements before they were made.
Ambassador Beale replied that he was certain that responsible members of the Australian Government were fully aware of the problems and would act with great discretion. He could not, however, speak for all of the campaigners. He agreed that consultation in advance would be wise.
The meeting was extremely cordial and appeared to give the Ambassador a chance to correct any impression that the Australian Government had pushed its interpretation of the ANZUS obligations too far.
- Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Malaysia, 10/63. Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by Forrestal.↩
- Secret. Forrestal and. Harriman discussed this paper in telephone conversations at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. on October 16. (Memoranda of telephone conversations; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Harriman Papers, Kennedy-Johnson Administrations, Telephone Conversations)↩