Volume #26 - 152.|
RELATIONS AVEC LE COMMONWEALTH
RELATIONS AVEC DES PAYS PARTICULIERS
AUSTRALIE : VISITE DU PREMIER MINISTRE MENZIES À OTTAWA, 21 MAI 1959
Note de l'adjoint spécial du secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
le 26 mai 1959|
CONVERSATION BETWEEN PRIME MINISTER DIEFENBAKER AND PRIME MINISTER MENZIES, MAY 21, 1959, AT 10:00 A.M.|
The Australian High Commissioner, who was present during the conversation, has provided us with the attached record. Mr. Diefenbaker had earlier given me a brief oral account of what had transpired, but nearly all the points which he mentioned are covered by Cawthorn's summary. The following points made by Mr. Diefenbaker at various times since the conversation are perhaps worth recording:
(a) He was impressed with the emphasis which Mr. Menzies had placed on the value of educational exchanges as an element in assistance programmes to underdeveloped countries;
(b) Mr. Menzies' suggestions regarding the loan of civil servants from older Commonwealth countries to countries such as Malaya recalled to Mr. Diefenbaker's mind the representations which had been made to him in Kuala Lumpur for Canadian treasury experts. Mr. Diefenbaker indicated that in view of what Mr. Menzies had said, we should make every effort to accede to the Malayan request. (I explained the difficulties which have been encountered in finding a suitable Canadian candidate for the position which the Malayans wished to fill from Canada.)
(c) Mr. Diefenbaker said that he had been struck by the warmth with which Mr. Menzies had referred to the success of Australia's trade agreement with Japan. The Japanese Government had been scrupulous in running down any attempted violations of the terms of the agreement;
(d) Cawthorn's summary does not mention the recognition of Communist China as having been among the subjects raised by Mr. Menzies, and it is possible that this was discussed either on a separate occasion or at the Cabinet meeting. The burden of Mr. Menzies' comments appears to have been that he could see no profit in taking any step at this stage towards recognition of Peking. The reasons given by Mr. Menzies were conventional ones.
(e) During the Cabinet meeting Mr. Menzies was asked a question, I think by Mr. Howard Green, regarding the recent negotiations on civil aviation. Mr. Diefenbaker remarked on the emphasis which Mr. Menzies had placed on the desirability of working out some kind of scheme for Commonwealth co-operation in civil aviation matters;
(f) There was no discussion of the Law of the Sea or of the problem of Danish migrants for Australia under the auspices of ICEM.
With regard to paragraph 5 of Cawthorn's record, it may be of interest to note that in a subsequent conversation with the Under-Secretary, Cawthorn said that in discussing the utilization of food surpluses as part of aid programmes, Mr. Diefenbaker had given the impres-sion of being in agreement with the Australian viewpoint as outlined by Mr. Menzies (the same line as taken by Sir John Crawford during his recent visit). Cawthorn also said that it was evident that Mr. Menzies had derived greater satisfaction from the outcome of the recent Washington conference on Food for Peace than had been the case with Canadian Ministers.
In talking to the Under-Secretary, Cawthorn also said that when the Prime Ministers were discussing Singapore (cf. para 2 of Cawthorn's record), Mr. Menzies had offered the view that in the light of political trends in Singapore, the United Kingdom authorities would probably find it difficult, if not impossible, despite the powers reserved to them under the new Singapore constitution, to redress the balance if the forthcoming elections resulted in a victory for extreme left-wing nationalist parties, with a consequential decline in United Kingdom control of internal security.
After Mr. Menzies had left Ottawa, Cawthorn saw Mr. Diefenbaker on instructions and showed him a highly classified Australian paper on defence questions. Cawthorn subsequently showed a copy of this paper to the Under-Secretary.
NOTES OF CONVERSATION IN OTTAWA ON 21ST MAY, 1959, BETWEEN THE PRIME MINISTERS OF CANADA AND AUSTRALIA
The following is a summary of a one hour informal meeting between the two Prime Ministers, at which I was present.
2. Mr. Diefenbaker opened by asking Mr. Menzies his views on the Singapore situation, but the latter indicated that he wished to mention Indonesia first. Mr. Menzies then referred to a J.I.C. (Australia) paper, which he said he would leave with Mr. Diefenbaker, who could decide on others to whom it might be shown. Mr. Menzies then briefly covered the main points made in Mr. Casey's telegram 132. He referred to Subandrio's visit and the popular welcome he received and to his own intention of accepting the Indonesian Government's invitation to visit Indonesia, saying he would probably go in November next.
3. Mr. Diefenbaker then raised the question of Canada's extending Colombo Plan aid to Indonesia and asked Mr. Menzies' views. The latter said he thought it would be worth while, but stressed the advantages of technical aid in preference to economic assistance in kind, as likely to produce more good will and lasting benefit. This led to a general discussion on the Colombo Plan and on the failure of the enormous United States expenditure from the aspect of developing a "liking for Americans." Mr. Diefenbaker mentioned a request for three financial experts received from the Malayan Government. Mr. Menzies outlined his ideas for encouraging undeveloped countries to accept some senior civil administrative officers nearing retiring age for the last two or three years of their service and Mr. Diefenbaker agreed that, in the light of Mr. Menzies' views, there was a good case for Canada meeting the Malayan Government request.
4. Discussion then reverted to the Singapore situation and both Prime Ministers agreed that the latest information indicated the likelihood of the extremist left wing party winning the elections.
5. Mr. Diefenbaker then asked Mr. Menzies' views on utilization of surpluses as part of aid programmes. Mr. Menzies gave the Australian viewpoint and "Food for Peace" was then briefly discussed. Mr. Diefenbaker said that his Ministers who had attended the Conference in Washington had come back with a feeling that not much had been achieved. Both Prime Ministers agreed that all that could be done for the present was to see how the joint administrative committee set up by the Conference worked in practice.
6. The Geneva Conference situation was then briefly discussed and Mr. Menzies referred to adverse American comment on Mr. Macmillan's Moscow visit. Mr. Diefenbaker said that he thought it had been an excellent move and that it had been generally very well received in Canada. Mr. Menzies gave the gist of a letter he had written to Mr. Macmillan and Mr. Diefenbaker gave an account of talks with Mr. Macmillan during his visit to Ottawa after the Moscow visit. He agreed with Mr. Menzies' suggestion that one very satisfactory aspect of the visit was that Mr. Macmillan was able to go to Washington "to inform and advise and not to receive instructions." Some discussion of the United States attitude in general, and that of the President in particular, in relation to a Summit Conference, followed. Both Prime Ministers expressed concern at the rigidity of the United States approach and at signs that the President was "veering away from the Summit." Mr. Diefenbaker agreed with Mr. Menzies that a Summit Conference was essential whatever the outcome of the Geneva meeting.
7. Mr. Menzies mentioned the latest developments in the Pakistan-India canal waters dispute, and in particular the request for the United Kingdom, Canadian and Australian contribution to be raised from $70 million to $90 million. Mr. Diefenbaker said that his Cabinet were not pleased and were "rather prickly" at being further "bludgeoned." Mr. Menzies suggested that, having accepted the principle, the $20 million added was a comparatively small amount on which to risk wrecking a settlement and said that he was disposed to advise his Government to accept. Mr. Diefenbaker said he thought that he would probably do likewise.