181 Record by Embassy in Tokyo of Conversation with French Official

Tokyo, 25 October 1971

Confidential

Record of Conversation with Mr R. Mas, French Attaché (Nuclear Affairs)

Officers Present: Dr W.B. Rotsey, Counsellor (Atomic Energy), Mr A.J. Kentwell, First Secretary

Uranium Enrichment

Multinational Talks

  1. Australia: What is the French position with respect to the forthcoming multinational talks on enrichment?
    Mas: The United States is only now saying it will disclose the technology because of the French offer to do so in February 1971. I do not feel that the United States will really disclose anything substantive in these talks. France will not take the initiative to join the Pacific Basin Group talks, indeed it is not certain that an invitation would be accepted. I feel Japan is out to learn all it can from everybody, not just the United States at the talks. I think certainly the UK would be interested and perhaps Germany.
  2. Mas: What specific items is Australia interested in learning from the talks?
    Australia: We do not yet know the current thinking in Canberra but we would assume that apart from the technology, the price structure would be high on the list for discussion. Australia would like to see a fully commercial operation competing in the world market. The selling price should be free from any artificial constraint imposed by external factors.

[matter omitted]

[NAA: A1838, 720/4/9 part 4]