71 Cabinet Committee Decision 103(Hoc)

14th September, 1954

Submission No. 108-General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade [matter omitted]

JAPAN The Committee noted the interdepartmental report on Japan and discussed the timing of an initial approach to the Japanese to open trade negotiations. It was agreed that import licensing restrictions against Japanese goods should not be associated directly with any trade negotiations. We should maintain our right to take unilateral action on import licensing matters.

The majority view of the Committee was that Australia could not postpone negotiations with Japan much longer but it was agreed to defer an announcement of any intention to open negotiations until after the Commonwealth talks. This would enable our delegation to report the views of other Commonwealth countries. In the meantime the Departments concerned should proceed with preparation of material which would indicate the concessions we may seek, the commitments we could accept and the nature of escape provisions which would be necessary.

[AA : A4906. VOLUME 4]