356 Makin to Spender
Cablegram 1227 WASHINGTON, 20 December 1949, 9.24 p.m.
State Department has requested that we abstain from voting in Far
Eastern Commission on proposal which would permit Japanese
Government to appoint agents in any country willing to receive
them for the purpose of facilitating Japanese trade and/or
handling matters affecting the civil status or property rights of
Japanese nationals. (See memorandum No.1528/49 of 2nd December).
Australia has hitherto opposed this policy.
2. At this morning's meeting of Far Eastern Commission Steering
Committee the above proposed policy was divided into two parts
(a) Appointment of Japanese trade agents and
(b) Appointment of agents to handle matters affecting the civil
status and/or property rights of Japanese nationals. 
Both proposals were approved by Steering Committee and will be
considered at next meeting of Commission on Thursday 22nd
December. It is considered that there is little to be gained by
continuing to oppose a policy which is strongly supported by the
United States and acceptable to the majority of the members of the
Commission and it is suggested that an abstention by Australia
could be justified for the following reasons-
(a) Although Australia does not intend to receive Japanese trade
agents it would not wish to stand in the way of countries which
consider this desirable.
(b) Countries with large Japanese populations are best able to
judge the need for agents to handle matters affecting civil status
or property rights of resident Japanese nationals since such
countries are obliged to carry the administrative burden of
looking after the interests of resident Japanese.
3. If you approve of abstention by Australia I would suggest that
we endeavour to have clause inserted in proposed policy
prohibiting Japanese agents from indulging in political activity
and that we make it clear that Japanese trade agents should in no
circumstances be designated as Consuls.
[AA:A1838/278, 483/2, V]