42. Editorial Note

On October 19, 1973, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger transmitted a telegram to Ambassador Marshall Green, asking him to present Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam a message regarding the conflict in the Middle East. The message stated, “Australia holds the presidency of the Security Council in these critical days as we continue to search for ways to bring the hostilities to an end; for this reason particularly, I want to stay closely in touch with your government as the situation evolves.” Kissinger went on to discuss his desire for a ceasefire, his concern over the Soviet airlift, and the resupply effort that the United States had initiated in response. He concluded, “I have gone to some length, Mr. Prime Minister, to describe our present policies and concerns because I believe we may yet have an opportunity in the Security Council to bring about a ceasefire that will lead to negotiations on a peace settlement.” (Telegram 207785 from the Department of State to the Embassy in Canberra, October 19, 1973, 2113Z.; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Country Files, Far East, Box 504, Australia, January 1972–December 31, 1973.)

On October 21, Whitlam replied, “You may be assured, Mr. Secretary, of the Australian government’s determination to contribute, both within the Security Council and by any other available means, to the achievement of a ceasefire at the earliest possible moment and to the negotiation of a just and durable settlement. I look forward to continuing consultation between our two governments and their representatives in this matter.” (Telegram 5765 From the Embassy in Canberra to the Department of State, October 21, 1973, 0100Z.; Ibid.)