5. Paper Prepared by the Bureau of East Asian Affairs1


  • Quadripartite Consultations in Southeast Asia


Mr. Hasluck has expressed concern that Australia has undertaken commitments to the United Kingdom and the United States, with respect to Southeast Asia (particularly in Malaysia and Viet-Nam), which are not fully integrated with each other. Australia fears a possible conflict in these commitments and wishes to forge a link to coordinate U.K., U.S., Australian, and New Zealand efforts in Southeast Asia.

U.S. Position

While we agree that quadripartite consultations would be of value in obtaining a clear picture of our problems in Southeast Asia and in coordinating our efforts to deal with these problems, it is essential to keep our consultations under ANZUS separate from U.K., Australian, and New Zealand consultations under the ANZAM arrangement (an informal three-power planning body for the external defense of Malaysia), [Page 9] since they were designed for different purposes. Moreover, the meetings must be held under conditions of maximum discretion to prevent Indonesia, for example, from concluding that the “Anglo-Saxon” powers are combining against her. Maximum discretion is also needed to avoid damage to our relations with Thailand, the Philippines and South Korea, for example, which would be likely to resent being excluded from such a consultative body.

We would be prepared to accept one of the following alternatives for quadripartite consultations on Southeast Asia:

The U.S., U.K., Australian, and New Zealand representatives—military or civilian, as appropriate—attending SEATO meetings could take the opportunity to meet discreetly. Their presence in a given place would be readily explainable in terms of the SEATO meeting.
Meetings might be held in Washington of appropriate civilian or military personnel from the British, Australian, and New Zealand Embassies and appropriate American opposite numbers. Decisions reached could be on an ad referendum basis.


A similar question has been raised in substance in a recent exchange of messages between the Joint Chiefs of Staff and CINCPAC. CINCPAC proposed that a U.K. representative be present at meetings of ANZUS military planners, although he would meet separately with them outside the ANZUS meetings as such. Similarly, he proposed that a U.S. representative might be present at meetings of ANZAM military planners, meeting with them outside ANZAM sessions as such.

We opposed the effective expansion of ANZUS and ANZAM, even on this limited basis, because of the need to keep the two security arrangements separate, since they were designed to serve different purposes. However, we agreed that such quadripartite military discussions might be held discreetly in the SEATO context. CINCPAC has indicated his intention of arranging for informal quadripartite military discussions on an as-required basis at scheduled, semi-annual SEATO MILAD meetings, the next of which is due to be held in October.

It does not appear that CINCPAC has yet approached any of the U.K., Australian, or New Zealand military representatives who might wish to participate in such quadripartite military discussions.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 7 AUSTL. Secret. Drafted by Conlon, cleared in draft by John B. Dexter, Officer-in-Charge of the Republic of China Affairs, Philip W. Manhard, Regional Planning Adviser, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs, Jeffrey C. Kitchen. This paper was sent as Tab A (there were seven other tabs) to Secretary Rusk in anticipation of a meeting with Hasluck during the ANZUS Council Meeting in Washington, June 28. Following the meeting on June 28, the ANZUS Foreign Ministers released a communiqué which is printed in Department of State Bulletin, July 19, 1965, pp. 135–136.