124 Minute From Shaw To Loomes And Brennan

29th December, 1955


Japan-Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation I am not happy about merely telling the Japanese we cannot enter into negotiations on a treaty. We will probably have to end up by doing this but I would like to be more certain we have done all we can to meet their ultimate requirements.

2. In the case of entry and residence of business people I cannot understand why Immigration cannot now take such action as will enable us to inform the Japanese that they were treated on a basis of complete equality with other Asians or perhaps that of other aliens. If they have to go to their Minister with this they should do so.

3. On trade matters I have never been convinced that Australia could not afford m.f.n. treatment with Japan with appropriate safeguards. I have never seen an adequate Customs statement showing that the dangers to our own industry or even to British exporters were such that they could not be avoided by the present G.A.T.T. safeguards or some understanding on m.f.n.

4. The only way to prove this would be action in concert with the Department of Commerce which we have never been able to agree on.

5. Again I doubt if we could do this but let us look at it further before giving up.

6. Would you look again also at the other aspects of the draft Treaty. [1]

1 Loomes called for a re-examination of the question, in the light of Shaw's comments and those of Tange, who had requested further discussion. In the event, Casey informed Suzuki on 6 January 1956 that Australia could not negotiate such a treaty because of difficulties arising from the federal nature of Australia's constitution.

[AA : A1838/2, 759/1/9, i]