Chifley to Evatt

Cablegram 256 CANBERRA, 25 September 1945


1. Extension of Washington talks on Keynes-Halifax mission to include commercial policy (see Dominion Office cable D.1752 20th September [1]) makes it imperative that we should be more fully represented in Washington.

2. The matter was discussed in Cabinet yesterday and it was decided that we should immediately send Dunk with McCarthy as representative of Commerce. Moore already in Washington will represent Customs.

3. You will appreciate that these discussions may have the most important bearing on future trade and employment in Australia.

Although we would have preferred that the present talks were restricted to plain questions of Lend Lease termination, leaving the more important trade and employment aspects for the projected world conference, now that the base of the talks has been extended to include commercial policy we must strengthen our representation in Washington.

4. Cabinet is very conscious of the difficulties created for your Department in sending Dunk away before he has had time to deal with important organisational questions in External Affairs.

Unfortunately McFarlane is ill and cannot undertake the journey.

5. Dunk’s connection with Keynes in Lend Lease discussions last year and his interest in Australian trade fit him for the job and Cabinet thought there was no one else available (with his experience) at the present time.

6. We regard it as of highest importance that the mission should have someone who has background knowledge of earlier Empire discussions on postwar trade policy and it is requested that you should arrange for Tange to meet Dunk in Washington on about 3rd October. We know that this creates difficulty for you but rely on your appreciation of the importance of the projected Washington discussion.


1 On file AA : A1066, A45/2/5/4.


[AA : A1066, ER45/1/6]