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Historical documents

10 Cabinet Decision 184

2nd October, 1951


Admission of Japan as Observer to 6th Session of Contracting
Parties to GATT The following submission from the relevant inter-
departmental Committee was read:

'Japan has made application to the GATT Contracting Parties for
permission to send an observer to the present GATT Session. Such
an observer would have no voice in the present deliberations, but
it can be interpreted as an indication of intention to make formal
application for admission to GATT-probably at the 1952 session.

The Leader of the Australian delegation [1] reports that there is,
as far as he can ascertain, no formal opposition to the
application and when it comes up for decision today or tomorrow it
will be approved by a large majority. The United Kingdom
delegation, although not wishing to go on record as opposing the
application, has instructions to seek deferment of the
application, apparently with the intention of making it
impracticable for a Japanese observer to attend this Session.

Our delegation has asked for instructions as to how he should vote:-

(a) on the Japanese application; and
(b) on the United Kingdom move for deferment.

There is general agreement at the Departmental level that nothing
is to be achieved by formal opposition to a Japanese observer,
especially when there is an overwhelming number in favour. We have
to accept the fact that eventually Japan will apply to be admitted
to GATT and if the application is approved by two-thirds of the
Contracting Parties we will then have to decide whether we will
use the provisions of Article XXXV [2], i.e. whether we would wish
the provisions of the GATT not to apply between Japan and
ourselves. For the moment, however, there are no valid arguable
reasons which we can advance against admission of an observer.

On the second point, i.e. the United Kingdom move for deferment,
it is extremely likely that in the face of almost unanimous
support for the proposal, the United Kingdom will not proceed and
no vote will be taken, However, if United Kingdom does go ahead it
is felt that we should add our support even though it seems that
the move will inevitably fail.

It is therefore suggested that our delegation be instructed as

(a) If the United Kingdom proceeds with a motion for deferment we
should support the motion.

(b) On the main motion for admission of an observer, we would not
oppose but if it is pressed to a formal vote our delegation should

Departments concerned concur in these recommendations but have had
no opportunity to discuss with their Ministers.'


Cabinet considered the application by Japan to the GATT
Contracting Parties for permission to send an observer to the
current GATT session.

Cabinet decided that the Australian delegation be instructed as

(a) if the United Kingdom proceeds with a motion for deferment of
consideration of the application by Japan, to support the motion;

(b) not to oppose the main motion, but if it is pressed to a
formal vote, to abstain from voting.

1 J. Phillips.

2 Non application of the Agreement between particular Contracting
Parties. Paragraph 1 of the Article read: 'This Agreement ...

shall not apply as between any contracting party and any other
contracting party if., (a) the two contracting parties have not
entered into tariff negotiations with each other, and (b) either
of the contracting parties, at the time either becomes a
contracting party, does not consent to such application.'

[AA : A4907, VOLUME 1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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