308 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 283 CANBERRA, 17 May 1949, 3.07 p.m.

RESTRICTED

Your FEC 88 and 89. Japanese reparations and level of industry.

In reply to Aide-Memoire from United States Embassy asking for our concurrence in proposals to be submitted to FEC by United States representative, we have said that the Australian Government will of course give careful consideration to any United States proposal submitted to FEC but have pointed out that the United States view that Japan has no resources surplus to its future peaceful needs, and that accordingly no further reparations should be exacted from Japan, is based solely on United States calculations and cannot be accepted without a thorough survey by other members of FEC of present economic situation in Japan and its estimated needs.

Meanwhile Australian Government sees no reason to withdraw its general support for proposals on future levels of Japanese industry which have been before FEC since end of 1947 and on which majority of FEC members have long since reached a substantial measure of agreement and have been awaiting an expression of United States views.

2. Copy of our reply is being sent by air bag. Copies have also been passed to United Kingdom and New Zealand High Commissioners in Canberra.

[AA:A1838, 85/6]