Skip to main content

Historical documents

143 Record Of Conversation By Warwick Smith

31st July, 1956


Dr Westerman, Mr Rattigan and I saw Mr Suzuki and Mr Uyama today
at Mr Suzuki's request.

Mr Suzuki said that he wanted an indication of what Australia's
requests were likely to be in the forthcoming trade talks, and
what likely negotiating points, before the Prime Minister's visit
to Tokyo.

Dr Westerman explained that the Australian Government had been
trying to move forward in a stocktaking of Australian trade policy
as a whole. The delay in coming to trade negotiations with Japan
had been due to this process and not to any anticipated obstacles
in getting a settlement with Japan.

Dr Westerman said that we understood that Japan wanted most-
favoured-nation treatment, non-discriminatory import licensing and
the application of G.A.T.T. to Australia/Japan trade relations.

Dr Westerman went on to say that Australia wanted broadly, the
same things from Japan, but because of the Japanese trading system
these would need to be defined so as to give practical meaning to
the principles, e.g. non-discriminatory treatment in respect of
State-traded products need not mean anything if the Government
policy cost a large part of the market for a particular commodity
to be preempted.

Australia, in the course of the trade negotiations, would want to
find ways of removing the fences to Japanese imports. In doing so,
however, there were very practical considerations that had to be
faced. The major problem of a possible undue inflow of goods from
Japan might be met in large part if the Japanese Government were
able to ensure that no more than reasonable quantities were
exported to Australia. However, the Australian Government would
also need to be in a position itself to apply, should the need
arise, any measures necessary to protect its own industries and
pattern of trade.

Mr Uyama thought that what Dr Westerman had said corresponded
pretty well with their own thinking.

With regard to the timing of the exchange of requests it was
agreed that both sides would give further thought to this matter,
but Mr Suzuki agreed that what Dr Westerman had said did remove
some of the importance from a formal meeting next Tuesday at which
requests might be exchanged. This point was left on the basis that
both sides would have a further look at it.

[AA : A1310/1, 810/1/15]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top