I have the honour to refer to your letter of 19th December, 1939, on the subject of the prohibition of the export of iron ore from Australia. 
Investigations which are being made by the Commonwealth Government in regard to Australia's iron ore resources have been more protracted than was anticipated. At Yampi Sound, particularly, unforeseen difficulties have been encountered.
As soon as the complete report covering the whole of Australia is received the question as to whether the embargo on the export of iron ore should be continued will be given full consideration by the Commonwealth Government. When a decision has been reached a further communication will be addressed to you.
[R. G. MENZIES]