85 Ball to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram Department 71 TOKYO, 24 August 1946, 11 a.m.


Following is my comment on S.C.A.P. statement reported in my Department 70. [1] The 25,000 tons whaling meat which the Japanese estimated they can secure from the Antarctic, would provide only about 3 1/2 ounces per person per month for the urban population through the five shortage months May to September. Three and a half ounces of whale meat are equivalent to about one ounce of rice in calorific value which is the most important criterion of food value under present conditions in Japan. This would provide approximately three calories per person per day which is negligible.

2. Considerable body of fishing opinion here believe that fuel and ship repair facilities required by whaling expedition would produce much greater food yield if used to increase fishing in home waters.

3. Have been confidentially but reliably informed by the fishing expert here that 254,000 barrels of fuel oil have been allocated by S.C.A.P. for the expedition.

4. Moreover experts expect sufficient vitamin A will be available from home fishing for all Japanese needs plus surplus for export.

1 S.C.A.P.'s statement issued on 23 August explained that the whaling expedition had been authorised to use idle equipment and personnel as an emergency humanitarian measure to relieve Japan's food needs and a world shortage of whale oil and vitamin A. It was to be controlled entirely by Allied occupation authorities, would observe international whaling regulations, and would not affect commercial interests.

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