44. Memorandum From W.R. Smyser of the National Security Council Staff to Secretary of State Kissinger, Washington, January 3, 1974.1 2



January 3, 1974

FROM: W.R. SMYSER [WRS initialed]

SUBJECT: Ambassador Green and Australian Matters

During a meeting that Jack Froebe and I had with Marshall Green, our Ambassador to Australia, Green raised the following subjects:

Appointment to see you. Ambassador Green said he wanted very much to see you at some point during his Washington visit, which would last about a month. He wants your guidance on a number of matters relating to Australia.

U. S. attitudes on Australian gaffes. Green said that he had been reacting firmly to such Australian statements as Whitlam’s recent mischaracterization of our alert and Cairns’ attacks and misrepresentations regarding U.S. policy in Vietnam. Green has made some public statements. He has also made private protests and has pushed our views with Whitlam and others.

Green wants to know the depth of our concern about Australian statements, in order to be able accurately to reflect our views. At the same time, he does not believe he can boycott meetings with Australian officials to reflect U.S. displeasure.

I told Green you would certainly give him guidance if and when you saw him. If you could not see him, my feeling was that he should continue to see Australian officials but should maintain a reserved attitude and should make very clear that Australian statements are not quickly forgotten and do have an impact on our attitudes.

U.S. visitors to Australia. Green said that our policy of cancelling U.S. visits to Canberra has had some effect. There are now three more visits coming up. Assistant Secretary Ingersoll will get to [Page 2] Australia in mid-February as part of his tour of Asia; Deputy Secretary Rush will go there in March after the ANZUS meeting; and Admiral Gayler, CINCPAC, will probably go later in March or in April. Mr. Green thinks all these visitors can be helpful in stating our views. He thinks that Admiral Gayler’s visit, which can be used to review a number of U.S.-Australian military collaboration issues, can be particularly useful. He is not inclined to cancel the visits unless the Australians come up with a new monstrosity.

Using Asian allies to weigh in. Green thinks that the Australians will often pay much more attention to criticism from Asian states, especially Indonesia and Japan, than to criticism from the U.S. For example, a recent Mainichi article voicing Japanese concern that Australia was paying more attention to the Afro-Asian bloc than to its fellow Asians had major impact in Canberra and provoked some reservations about Whitlam’s flirtation with neutrality.

Green said, however, that Indonesia and Japan have in the past been reluctant to chide the Australians. I am also uncertain whether we should encourage them in this direction, though we might be able to do so discreetly should the occasion arise. If you wish, I could talk to the Japanese and you might raise it with your Indonesian channel.



That you see Ambassador Green while he is in town.

Approve [HK initialed]


That, if you do not see him, you approve my giving him the guidance cited above (that he should continue to see Australian officials but should maintain a reserved attitude and should make very clear that Australian statements are not quickly forgotten and do have an impact on our attitudes).



That you approve visits by three U. S. officials unless the Australians make another gaffe.

Approve [HK initialed]

Approve [HK initialed]

Approve [HK initialed]


That we put something regarding Australia in your next talker with your Indonesian friends.

Approve [HK initialed]


That I also ask the Japanese to say something to the Australians if they make another misstatement.

Disapprove [HK initialed]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 505, Country Files, Far East, Box 505, Australia, 1 January 1974–. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes, Only. Sent for action. Kissinger initialed his approval of recommendations 1, 3, and 4, and his disapproval of recommendation 5. He left recommendation 2 blank.
  2. Smyser reported on a recent conversation with Marshall Green.