65 Commonwealth Government to Attlee

Cablegram 467 [1] CANBERRA, 24 October 1942


Your telegrams Circular D.418, 419, 420 and 428. [2] As already indicated, His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia is in agreement with the relinquishment of extra- territorial rights in China and proposes to negotiate a separate agreement on the subject with the Chinese Government. [3]

2. The Commonwealth Government does not propose that this draft treaty should extend beyond the subject of extra-territoriality

nor is it proposed to raise the question of negotiation of a general commercial treaty in the immediate future.

3. Provisions of Articles 6 and 8 of United Kingdom draft raise whole question of immigration policy generally. As the Government in the United Kingdom is aware maintenance of the existing immigration system in Australia is regarded by public as essential for economic and social reasons.

4. It is proposed that our draft would cover generally the matters dealt with in the first five Articles and Article 7 of the United Kingdom draft. [4]

1 Repeated to the Canadian, N.Z. and South African Prime Ministers as nos 11, 271 and 123 respectively.

2 All four cablegrams (dispatched between 16 and 21 October) are on file AA:A981, China 60B, ii.

3 See cablegram 433 of 25 September to Attlee on the file cited in note 2.

4 The U.K. Govt's draft treaty was set out in circular cablegram D419 (cited in note 2). Articles 1-4 were substantially the same as those adopted by Eggleston in his draft treaty (see Document 106, Enclosure). Article 5 dealt with British property rights in China. Article 6 provided that each country should permit citizens of the other country to travel, reside and carry on trade under conditions 'not less favourable' than those imposed by the other.

It also provided that the right to carry on commerce should be restricted only in time of war and national emergency and even then that citizens of the United Kingdom and China should not be subjected to restrictions more severe than those imposed on all foreigners. Article 7 related to the exchange of Consuls. Article 8 provided that the United Kingdom and China should negotiate 'a comprehensive modern Treaty or Treaties of commerce, navigation and Consular rights', the negotiations to be begun at the request of either party 'or in any case within six months after cessation of hostilities in ... which they are both now engaged'.

[AA:A981, CHINA 60B, ii]