358 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington
Cablegram 470 CANBERRA, 31 August 1949, 4.15 p.m.
United States Embassy has informed us that it is proposed to
direct the Supreme Commander to release to Thailand and France
$80m (eighty million dollars) in gold which Japan had earmarked
for those countries as a result of trade transactions between
1941-1943. Please obtain copy of procedure United States
Government proposes which involves bringing the matter to the
attention of FEC for information.
We are examining the matter and have informally reminded the
Embassy that Thailand was an enemy country of Australia though not
an enemy of U.S.A. Moreover there is as a result of the Peace
Treaty concluded with Thailand an outstanding claim in the
vicinity of two million pounds in respect to damage to Australian
property and other compensation claims. We would expect an ally to
respect our claim that we have a prior call on the gold assets
earmarked for Thailand and now in the control of the occupying
forces. You should do your best to see that the matter does not
come to FEC before we have had the opportunity of sending a
considered reply and of sending you necessary instructions.