Mr J.A. Lyons, Prime Minister, to Mr M. MacDonald, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, and to Mr M.J. Savage, N.Z. Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered 11 January 1939,


(a) The following telegram has been despatched to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Begins-

(b) Your telegram of 22nd December, 1938. [1] My Government cordially concurs in the suggestion that the Conference should be held in New Zealand and will be prepared to send a delegation as soon as you can conveniently arrange Conference.

In the meantime I would like some amplification of what your Government has in mind about the enlarged scope of the Conference and the extent of the subjects to be discussed. In other words, do you contemplate a Conference devoted purely to defence matters, or one which will cover the strategic situation in its widest aspects embracing political, economic and geographical considerations?

You will appreciate that a clear understanding of the subjects and their scope to be discussed is desirable beforehand in order that my Government can give consideration to the personnel of the delegation and to the preparation of the documentation. [2] A copy of this cablegram is being telegraphed to the United Kingdom Government. (a) Ends.


1 Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. 1, Document 335.

2 For an elaboration of the queries about the scope of the conference see memorandum of 4 January 1939 from Lt Col W.R. Hodgson, Secretary of Department of External Affairs, to F. Strahan, Secretary of Prime Minister’s Department (on file AA: A981, Pacific 1).



[AA: A981, PACIFIC 1]