397 Makin to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 747 WASHINGTON, 10 June 1947, 9.10 p.m.


F.E.C. 146. Japanese whaling.

Reference United States aide-memoire, our F.E.C. 145.

A further protest to the State Department, even in the strongest terms, is unlikely to cause reversal of decision to authorize this expedition. We understand that some senior officials in the State Department were very sympathetic to our position but they have been overruled by General MacArthur who has taken a very strong stand. Two further courses appear to be open- (a) To force the United States to veto in F.E.C. a policy which would prevent Japanese whaling in Antarctic. Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom are supporting the paper on Japanese whaling, which will probably come before F.E.C. on 19th June. So far we have received support from all other countries but support of some of these might weaken at the last moment. I do not know whether you wish to force the veto on this issue.

(b) To seek arrangements whereby ships would be turned over to Australia immediately, possibly as interim reparations, and for Australia in return to supply oil and perhaps whale meat to Japan under arrangements agreed upon with U.S.A., probably as essential imports receiving priority as occupation costs, like similar imports from America. (U.S.A. does not expect to be paid 100 percent for this and will possibly receive much less). We have had informal preliminary talks with American officials along these lines, but have met with very little encouragement, and have, naturally, not done anything concrete or detailed without reference to you. The Americans tend to feel that any such arrangements would take too long to work out and that difficulties might arise with other countries such as Russia, which might be interested in a similar arrangement.

If any formal proposals of this nature were made, their best chance of success would be if proposed jointly with the United Kingdom. [1]

1 The Department of External Affairs approved alternative(b)and agreed that joint action with the UK Government would be helpful.

[AA : A1838,479/10, iii]