Skip to main content

Historical documents

65 Commonwealth Government to Attlee

Cablegram 467 [1] CANBERRA, 24 October 1942


Your telegrams Circular D.418, 419, 420 and 428. [2] As already
indicated, His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of
Australia is in agreement with the relinquishment of extra-
territorial rights in China and proposes to negotiate a separate
agreement on the subject with the Chinese Government. [3]

2. The Commonwealth Government does not propose that this draft
treaty should extend beyond the subject of extra-territoriality

nor is it proposed to raise the question of negotiation of a
general commercial treaty in the immediate future.

3. Provisions of Articles 6 and 8 of United Kingdom draft raise
whole question of immigration policy generally. As the Government
in the United Kingdom is aware maintenance of the existing
immigration system in Australia is regarded by public as essential
for economic and social reasons.

4. It is proposed that our draft would cover generally the matters
dealt with in the first five Articles and Article 7 of the United
Kingdom draft. [4]

1 Repeated to the Canadian, N.Z. and South African Prime Ministers
as nos 11, 271 and 123 respectively.

2 All four cablegrams (dispatched between 16 and 21 October) are
on file AA:A981, China 60B, ii.

3 See cablegram 433 of 25 September to Attlee on the file cited in
note 2.

4 The U.K. Govt's draft treaty was set out in circular cablegram
D419 (cited in note 2). Articles 1-4 were substantially the same
as those adopted by Eggleston in his draft treaty (see Document
106, Enclosure). Article 5 dealt with British property rights in
China. Article 6 provided that each country should permit citizens
of the other country to travel, reside and carry on trade under
conditions 'not less favourable' than those imposed by the other.

It also provided that the right to carry on commerce should be
restricted only in time of war and national emergency and even
then that citizens of the United Kingdom and China should not be
subjected to restrictions more severe than those imposed on all
foreigners. Article 7 related to the exchange of Consuls. Article
8 provided that the United Kingdom and China should negotiate 'a
comprehensive modern Treaty or Treaties of commerce, navigation
and Consular rights', the negotiations to be begun at the request
of either party 'or in any case within six months after cessation
of hostilities in ... which they are both now engaged'.

[AA:A981, CHINA 60B, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top