424 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 1155 CANBERRA, 1 October 1947


Your telegram 1276 and our 1151. Resumption of Private Trade with Japan.

We are not disposed to sponsor further visits of businessmen to Japan unless satisfied that they can purchase essential goods or assist our export trade.

We are drastically curtailing dollar expenditure and exploring every avenue to save further dollars. Our interest in imports from Japan will be chiefly confined to cotton textiles and raw silk and our importing licensing policy will be directed towards limiting imports to essential goods not available from local or sterling sources of supply. Japan is being treated for import licensing purposes on the same basis as dollar areas and tightening of controls on imports from these areas is in process.

Apart from wool for which special arrangements are being made there is little that Australia can export at the present time. The number of exporters seeking to visit Japan is consequently very small and can easily be accommodated within the existing quota.

In the circumstances we are not interested in securing an increased Australian quota for businessmen visiting Japan and in fact would not regard very seriously a moderate reduction in present quota.

As to length of stay we consider that in view of our limited interests in the Japanese trade the period of three weeks at present permitted, together with extension to meet shipping schedules, is sufficient for traders to transact business.

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