Sir Thomas Inskip, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram 13 LONDON, 20 February 1939, 10.13 p.m.

Your telegram of 15th February, No. 18. [1] Prime Minister of New Zealand has repeated to us his telegram to you of 17th February. [2] We had already informed His Majesty’s Government in New Zealand of our views that adequate consideration of some of the topics mentioned in their telegrarn of 22nd January [3] would call for a meeting more in the nature of an Imperial Conference, and that on such topics it was assumed that the task of the present Conference would be merely exploratory with a view to drawing up a report for further consideration by the Governments. We added that this would not apply to the immediate practical problems [4] which it was thought could be fully discussed at the Conference with a view to reaching definite conclusions.

There would, we feel, be considerable advantage if defence discussions on this basis could take place without undue delay. Moreover, we are anxious to discuss with His Majesty’s Government in the Commonwealth of Australia and His Majesty’s Government in New Zealand as soon as possible other questions relating to Pacific islands, namely action in regard to United States claims and civil aviation problems. From our point of view therefore it would be convenient if the opening of the Conference were not deferred beyond the latter part of March. This would also be suitable time for attendance of the High Commissioner for the Western Pacific [5] whom we should like to be one of our representatives at the Conference.

Contents of this telegram are being repeated to New Zealand, No. 27.


1 Document 24.

2 Document 28.

3 Not printed.

4 A copy of this cablegram on file Defence: Special Collection I, SR 1/1, box 96 was here minuted: ‘This does not agree with NZ c’gram of 17/2/38’ [sic].

5 Sir Harry Luke.


[AA: A981, PACIFIC 1]