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355 Evatt to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 663 CANBERRA, 28 November 1949, 6.20 p.m.


Your 1159 (FEC.142). Japanese Government trade agents.

We have carefully considered arguments set forth in United States
aide-memoire of 9th November [1] but do not see how we can support

We would not deny that now that two-way trade between Japan and
other countries is gaining momentum S.C.A.P. can scarcely be
expected to continue to control it indefinitely without increasing
his staff and that if there were no prospect of a peace settlement
with Japan some additional machinery or other facilities would in
due course have to be established. We are not however impressed by
United States arguments firstly that the only way to develop trade
between Japan and other countries is to allow the Japanese
Government to establish trade promotion offices abroad, and
secondly that the establishment of such offices is a matter of
great urgency. Because of exchange difficulties trade between
Japan and its largest customers is likely for some time to remain
subject to some form of government control at each end, and we
fail to see how a trade promotion campaign by means of Japanese
Government trade agents abroad can give much immediate stimulus or
why it should be considered urgently necessary.

This reasoning applies a fortiori to the alleged need for Japanese
agents to handle questions of civil status and property rights of
Japanese abroad. Such matters have presumably been dealt with
under established procedures since war began with Japan, and we
are not convinced that they have increased in volume or complexity
so suddenly as to call for the urgent establishment of new

The arguments used by the United States Government are really
arguments in favour of an early peace settlement with Japan. To
allow the Japanese to resume normal international functions and
responsibilities in advance of a general settlement could in our
view be justified only if there were no prospect of concluding
such a settlement We consider that an early settlement is
desirable and feasible, and that every effort should be made to
conclude it with the least possible delay. Unless and until a
settlement, complete with appropriate safeguards for the Japanese
as well as for the Allies, is shown to be impracticable, we see no
need to raise unnecessary legal difficulties or run future
security risks by indulging in piecemeal measures of this sort.


1 See Document 354.

2 Makin sent an aide-memoire in these terms to the Department of
State on 30 November 1949.

[AA:A1838/278, 535/2, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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