Evatt to Fraser

Cablegram 21 CANBERRA, 15 January 1945


You will have no doubt heard from Berendsen that Eggleston has consulted him in regard to our proposal for regular meetings so as to restore Pacific War Council in Washington to a position in which it can again discuss Pacific affairs as in 1942. I have been concerned that because of a variety of reasons the Council has in recent months fallen into disuse and feel strongly that we should combine in requesting a resumption of its meetings. My own experience with the Council convinced me that with proper energy and concentration this body, although it is not executive, can provide a regular opportunity for Australia and New Zealand of discussion with the representatives of other Governments interested in the Pacific at the highest political level and that if we are clear as to our objectives such opportunity can be turned to great advantage for us. Nash [1] and I made full use of Council from this point of view. Vital equipment flowed to Pacific partly as a result of Council discussions, and Australia was in this way largely saved from invasion.

It has been in my mind that starting gradually from a resumption of its formal meetings the Council might subsequently be transformed into a body akin to the sort of Pacific Advisory Commission which we discussed at Wellington last November, thereby giving us an invaluable opening for the presentation of Australian - New Zealand views and interests in the regulation of Pacific affairs both before and after a Japanese armistice.

I am sure that you will see it as a proper and very useful development of our co-operation that I now suggest you ask Berendsen to concert closely with Sir Frederic Eggleston on this matter and to support by every means the suggested course of action.


1 N.Z. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance; Minister to the United States and member of the Pacific War Council, 1942-44.


[AA:A1066, H45/1014]