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323 Australian Government to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 431 CANBERRA, 3 May 1948


Your 453. [1] Japanese Whaling.

Please pass following aide-memoire to State Department:

'The Australian Government has given careful consideration to the
State Department's aide-memoire of the 13th April, 1948,
concerning the proposed Japanese Antarctic Whaling Expedition for
the 1948/49 season and desires to remind the United States
Government that the attitude of the Australian Government towards
the resumption by Japan of Antarctic whaling so soon after the
cessation of hostilities has been made clearly known throughout
the past two years. The Australian Government sees no reason to
modify its attitude, and wishes to re-state its contention that
Japanese participation in Antarctic whaling is properly a matter
of principle which should be decided by the Far Eastern

The Australian Government is particularly opposed to the proposal
that a third factory ship be included in the projected 1948/49
expedition. Employment of a third factory ship would not increase
the total amount of whale-oil taken from Antarctic waters since
the seasonal limit of 16,000 B.W.U. as prescribed by the
international Convention for the Regulation of Whaling was reached
during the 1947/48 season. It would, however, have the effect of
reducing the amount of whale-oil, meat and other products taken by
other Allied expeditions whose countries are badly in need of
fats, oils and meats. To allow Japan a third factory ship would
clearly amount to giving equal treatment to an enemy country, to
the detriment of former Allies.

The Australian Government notes that "Allied observers win be
welcomed on the expedition to observe compliance with the
regulations". In this connection the Australian Government desires
to point out that in its view the treatment accorded the
Australian observer during the last expedition could not be
regarded as satisfactory. The Australian observer states that he
was discouraged from seeking technical information from Japanese
members of the expedition, and that in general he was made to feel
that his presence was not welcomed by the representative of the
Supreme Commander.'

2. For Washington only:

We have asked U.K. and N.Z. for their support.

1 Dispatched 14 April 1948, it reported that a. aide-memoire had
been received from the Sure Department advising of the necessity
for a third whaling expedition to supplement food shortages.

[AA:A1838/283, 479/3/4/1, V]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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