123 Dedman to Chifley

Cablegram ITO225 GENEVA, 18 July 1947


I am unhappy about telegram from Cabinet Sub-committee dealing with embargoes [1], and support strongly the suggestion in Delegation telegram I.T.O.221 (as amended by ITO 224) that the decision be reviewed. [2] It Seems to me that Australia with serious gaps in her resources would be taking a very big risk in not doing everything possible to limit the use of embargoes.

Dependence on imported oil is a clear case and Australia deficient also in other sources of power.

If future power supplies came to be dependent say on supplies of Uranium distribution of which in workable quantities seems to be concentrated in a few countries it might make it possible for those countries by imposition of embargoes to prevent development in other countries.[3]

1 Document 120.

2 Cablegram ITO221, dispatched 17 July, asked that the decision not to lift the embargo on stud sheep be reviewed on the grounds that it would be to Australia's advantage to limit the use of embargoes by other countries and that, therefore, Australia should be prepared to accept the present provisions of the draft charter and lift the embargo. It was pointed out that Australian embargoes on products other than stud sheep were already protected by Article 37(J) which provided for the conservation of scarce national resources.

3 The matter was resolved in August. See Document 136.

[AA: A1068, ER47/1/28, ii]