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87 Note by Mackay of Conversation with Evatt [1]



KARACHI, 26 August 1946

PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL

Dr. Evatt said he had met Pandit Nehru in England in 1938 and
there were present Messrs. Attlee, Bevin, Morrison, Cripps and
others now in power in England.

He asked me to pay a special call on Pandit Nehru and to give his
(Evatt's) remembrances to Nehru, recalling their meeting in 1938.
Dr. Evatt urged that I should make a special point of this meeting
as soon as possible after my return to Delhi. Dr. Evatt said he
wanted me to give Nehru on his behalf a special message of
friendly greeting and to wish him and his new government success
in their task of building up a National Government. He asked me to
tell Pandit Nehru that the Australian Government desired to help
the National Government in every way that they could. They wished
to continue and extend the friendliest relations with India. Dr.
Evatt regarded it as most important that India and Australia
should work together for the peaceful development and happiness of
the peoples in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. He told me to say to
Nehru that it was the hope of the Australian Government that
whilst India attained the full powers of independent government
they would elect to remain within the British Commonwealth. It
would be a calamity if India did not remain within the
Commonwealth. Dr. Evatt said that it was the policy of the
Australian Government, while adhering to the British Commonwealth,
to express its own views when necessary and that Australia had
exercised independent rights at all recent international
conferences and transactions. No country could be freer than she.
He hoped that India would accept the same kind of freedom within
the British Commonwealth. Evatt said that Australia would regard
it as a great disappointment if India did not remain within the
Commonwealth. Australia was anxious to help India to her goal in
every way short of leaving the British Commonwealth. if it would
assist India as a mark of her independence, Australia would be
ready to style her diplomatic representative in India, Minister
instead of High Commissioner, the latter term being one hitherto
reserved for representatives amongst the various Dominions within
the Empire. Dr. Evatt said that Australia would always be ready to
join with India in conferences for the purpose of watching over
and guarding the interests of countries in the Pacific and Indian
Oceans and in South East Asia generally. Dr. Evatt repeated his
desire that Pandit Nehru should be given the above assurances from
Australia and reiterated that Australia did not want India to
leave the British Commonwealth and that she would feel it a great
loss if India ever did. A foreign country in the geographical
position of friendly India was not to be contemplated in the
Australian view point.

IVEN G. MACKAY

High Commissioner



1 Evatt spoke to Mackay at Karachi on his way home by air from
Paris.




[AA:A4231/2, NEW DELHI DISPATCHES, 1946, 1-52]

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