418 Embassy in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 732 WASHINGTON, 6 June 1947, 6.35 p.m.


Resumption of Private Trade 1. I.A.T.B. met 6th June. Garside [1] represented Australia.

2. United States announced that press statement on opening of Japan to private trade (see our 723) would be released to press on Monday and that copies were already in hands of press.

3. Australian member protested most vigorously. Said that since statement had been shown to members only two days before, and was given to press before comments could be received from any government, no consultation could be said to have occurred.

Pointed out that Australia had submitted to F.E.C. a policy on resumption of private trade, consideration of which had been delayed for several weeks at [instance] of U.S.A. because of inability of United States government to state its position.

4. All other countries were in agreement with us. United Kingdom member gave good support, but all the others were wishy-washy and accepted the fait accompli philosophically. This spineless attitude does much to foster American tendency to run rough shod over other countries.

5. Economic Committee of F.E.C. met this morning and on learning that an announcement might be made next week, Australian member moved that United States government be asked to make no announcement before 15th June on reopening of trade with Japan without concurrence of I.A.T.B. This motion was carried by five to one with five abstentions. As foregoing shows, United States government ignored this resolution.

1 J.U. Garside, Commercial Counsellor, at the Embassy in Washington; Australian representative on the inter-Allied Trade Board for Japan (IATB).

[AA : A1068, ER47/31/14, i]