205 Sir Earle Page, Minister for Commerce, to Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered LONDON, 18 May 1938, 6.59 p.m.


Your telegram 18th May, Yampi Sound. [1]

Amendment proposed in my telegram 17th May [2] was directed to the specific exclusion of the words 'claim for reimbursement of any expenditure' as these words go much further than compensation for actual loss. We note however that the words we suggested should be deleted have crept back into the revised text. We would urge wording proposed by us be adopted.

We regret very much that you have not accepted our suggestion that any claim arising out of this should be regarded as a private claim by a private company and not be made the subject of inter- Governmental negotiations. Your draft letter [3] to the Japanese Consul-General [4] appears entirely to depart from our idea. We would again urge that any correspondence with the Japanese Consul- General should be placed on the basis of conveying information only. We fear that if correspondence is not placed on this basis the Yampi question may involve both shipping question and current trade treaty negotiations. [5]

1 Not printed. It contained the text of Lyons's letter to T.

Wakamatsu, which is printed as Document 203.

2 Document 200.

3 Document 197.

4 Torao Wakamatsu.

5 Copies of this cablegram were circulated to W. M. Hughes (Minister for External Affairs), H. V. C. Thorby (Minister for Defence), R. G. Casey (Treasurer), J. McEwen (Minister for the Interior), J. A. Perkins (Acting Minister for Trade and Customs), A. N. MacDonald (Acting Minister for Commerce) and the Department of External Affairs. This was done in accordance with a most urgent cablegram from Page to Lyons received on 19 May 1938 (not printed; see AA : A1608, C47/1/4, iii), which requested that copies be circulated to responsible Ministers.

[AA : A981, AUSTRALIA 90]