46. Editorial Note

On December 18, 1973, New Zealand Ambassador Lloyd White called on Richard Sneider, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, to talk about the agenda for the upcoming Australia-New Zealand-United States Security Treaty (ANZUS) Council meeting in Wellington. White said that his government would wish to discuss its preliminary ideas for a South Pacific nuclear free zone. (Telegram 247025 to Wellington, December 19, 1973; National Archives, Record Group 59, Central Foreign Policy Files) Two months later, the Embassy in Wellington received instructions on this issue: “Department wishes to avoid any frontal conflict during forthcoming ANZUS meeting on issue of PM Kirk’s proposed ‘South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone.’ Consequently, if at all possible, you should seek early meeting with PM Kirk, but if necessary Foreign Secretary, in order to assure that Kirk realizes that US opposes creation of a zone in this area and hopefully to discourage him from raising it actively.” (Telegram 032376 to Wellington, February 16, 1974; ibid.)

Following the ANZUS meeting, the Department of State described the conference proceedings: “New Zealand did not raise subject of South Pacific nuclear free zone. There had been extensive speculation in local press that this would be prominent theme at meeting. However, NZ change of heart—in response to Australian and US representations—was signaled at Monday meeting of communiqué drafting committee where New Zealand reluctantly agreed to deletion any reference to subject in communiqué.” (Telegram 041029 to All East Asian and Pacific Diplomatic Posts, March 1, 1974; ibid.)