422 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 881 CANBERRA, 24 July 1947, 11.40 a.m.


Your 948. [1] Resumption of Private Trade with Japan.

1. Although we have maintained that resumption of private trade is question which should have been decided at the Peace Settlement, we were compelled to participate to ensure that Australian trading interests were not placed at a disadvantage.

2. We feel that any advantages resulting from the reopening of private trade with Japan should be shared by the countries who contributed to the defeat of Japan and that the extension of trading facilities to non-F.E.C. countries (particularly countries who are not members of the United Nations) is premature. However, if substantial majority of F.E.C. countries support paper you should not oppose it.

1 Dispatched 18 July. It reported the reservation of Australia's position on an FEC paper concerning private trade with Japan, pointing out that Australian representatives were still bound by instructions in Documents 411 and 417. It requested guidance and concluded: 'You will understand our difficulties in continuing to oppose in FEC resumption of private trade while on the other hand Australia has recognised United States fait accompli by deciding to send Australian businessmen to Japan.'

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