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347 Australian Government to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 109 CANBERRA, 18 February 1949, 4 p.m.

CONFIDENTIAL

You will recall that at Geneva meeting of GATT countries the
United States canvassed proposal for extension of most-favoured-
nation treatment to Japan. This was followed by talks in London in
November, 1948, between British Commonwealth countries and United
States, and it was agreed that the information arising out of
these discussions should be referred for governmental
consideration.

2. This question will be raised at the next session of Contracting
Parties to GATT in April, 1949, and we are at present considering
our position.

3. It has been suggested that before SCAP could be authorised to
negotiate with other countries for extension of most-favoured-
nation treatment to Japan, policy decision by FEC would be
necessary. However, in the light of FEC policy decision on
'Conduct of Trade with Japan' [1] it might be contended that
negotiations by SCAP with other countries would be a matter of
implementing this policy decision and that therefore no specific
policy on most-favoured-nation treatment would be necessary. We
should be glad to know whether this would be the interpretation of
the majority of F.E.C. countries and whether it would be the line
likely to be followed by the United States if it were suggested
that the question should be referred to F.E.C. as a matter of
policy.

1 Approved on 18 November 1948 it prescribed general rules for
dealings between foreign businessmen and Japanese agencies in
Japan.


[AA:CP553/1/1, BUNDLE 21/194/B/10/40]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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