136 Addison to Australian Government

Cablegram 320 LONDON, 24 September 1946, 2.33 p.m.


Your telegram 335 paragraph 1. [1] Japanese Whaling.

While fully sympathising with your desire to exclude Japanese crews from the present expedition, we fear that practical considerations make complete manning with Allied crews impossible.

Although the vessels would provide adequate accommodation for a small number of non-Japanese, substantial alterations would be required to fit them for complete non-Japanese crews. Even though the expedition has now been postponed for a month, time would probably be too short for this. Furthermore, the Norwegians will not serve if any Japanese are employed; and we could not dispense with Japanese gunners, since Norwegian gunners would not in any case be permitted by Norwegian law to serve except under a Company previously engaged in whaling.

2. Even if these difficulties could be overcome (e.g. by Norwegians providing crews for the catchers, and Australia and New Zealand crews manning the factory ships, leaving the transports to be manned by Japanese) very complicated transport problems would arise and the expedition would probably have to put into an Australian port. Japanese displaced by Norwegian, Australian and New Zealand personnel (if available) would then have to be repatriated.

3. The time available in which to make these arrangements would be very short even if all parties agreed in principle without delay.

In the present situation of acute shortage of oils and fats, we feel we could not justify a situation which might reduce the amount of oil available for international allocation by increased delay to the ships. While, therefore, we see no objection to the Australian representative in Washington seeking United States consent to the proposal for all-Allied crews, we trust that you will also give him discretion to support as an alternative the suggestions put forward in my telegram No 315 [2] (Foreign Office telegram No 9071 to Washington).

This telegram has been repeated to Tokyo.

1 Document 118 was repeated to Addison as no. 335 (the number on the cited copy was given inaccurately as 325).

2 Dispatched 19 September, it conveyed instructions to propose further means of ensuring that the expedition adhere to international whaling agreements, and a suggestion that a special S.C.A.P. flag be devised to avoid use of the Japanese flag.

[AA:A1067, P46/10/10/3/1, i]