322 Shaw to Department of External Affairs
Cablegram 176 TOKYO, 27 March 1948, 1.40 a.m.
Your telegram 109. Male-Catcher Vessels.
In personal talk on 26th March General MacArthur condemned in the
strongest terms your suggestion for making available Japanese
vessels to Australia. Matter could, he said, be taken up with
F.E.C. or [United States Government].  He personally could see
little hope. The Japanese needed food and to disrupt the whaling
fleet would mean another 26 million dollar burden on the American
taxpayer. He could not see on what Australia's claim for
reparations was based. We had had no whaling potential destroyed
in the war. So far as repairing and equipping the ships was
concerned this would have to be done by the United States.
MacArthur maintained that our previous attitude to whaling had
aroused the strongest possible opposition in the United States. It
was a pity to lose goodwill over such a small matter. He concluded
however, that we had chosen to side-step him before and might like
to take it up with F.E.C.
[AA:A1838/2, 479/10, iv]