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Historical documents

172 Evatt to Curtin

Cablegram E47 Washington, 4 May 1943, 9.59 p.m.

Anglo Dominion talks on post-war commercial policy. I have seen
Bruce's message [1] and adhere to the view previously expressed in
my telegram E.34 [2] with which Coombs strongly agrees. I add that
as a Government we will invite political trouble if we do more at
present than assist at the food conference without in any way
committing ourselves as a Government. With an election pending we
cannot get a mandate to enter into commitments of post-war
commercial policy, and even participation in these discussions
would be capable of being distorted in the electorate. Naturally
Bruce cannot be expected to understand these views, which involve
political judgment as to reaction of the electorate.

An additional factor against the proposal is that opening of
general discussion now can only delay the completion of our
proposed trade agreement with America, which offers Australia
exceptional benefits as a result of reduction of duty by 50 per
cent. on wool, meat and butter. Will cable regarding this matter

1 Bruce's cablegram 86A (Document 171) was repeated from Canberra
to Washington on 4 May as no. 488 (see file AA:A4764, 6).

2 Document 169.

[AA:A989, 43/735/57/1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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