In my letter3 of 26 June 1974, I set down my thinking on what Australia might do to help make non-proliferation a reality. I made the point that if we believe that the containment of proliferation is fundamental to our security and world stability, then its achievement justifies us adopting policy positions which might be considered quite untenable in other circumstances. The same proposition should be valid in respect of most countries, but regrettably, the realities of the situation are that it would be foolish to expect much support for non-proliferation moves which cut across broad political and commercial interests. It was for this reason that I did not suggest that Australia urge on other NPT parties and Zangger Committee members the proposition that they should limit their nuclear exports to NPT countries. Tokyo message No. TO 18524 makes me wonder whether despite the probable loneliness of such a position, we should not be contemplating unilateral action in this regard.
If Japanese thinking on ratification really is as finely balanced as Tokyo suggests-an assessment which I personally question-then a statement by Australia to the effect that it would supply uranium only to NPT parties could be the deciding factor in view of the current Japanese obsession with raw materials supply. The Minister for Minerals and Energy5 has already said something along these lines, but I doubt that his statement was widely interpreted as being a firm declaration of policy with regard to non-proliferation.
[NAA: A1838, 919/10/5 part 38]