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Historical documents

52 Extract From Casey's Diary

19th February, 1954

I saw Nishi (Japanese Ambassador) and his Counsellor, with
Plimsoll, and gave him our note and the terms of the 'provisional
regime' for pearling off our northern coast of the Northern
Territory. After we'd done the official part of it, I asked if we
could talk quite informally and personally as 'Casey and Nishi',
to which he agreed. I then gave him copies of an article by
Calwell in Truth of four days ago, in which he blamed the
Government for being pro-Japanese whereas the Labour [sic]
Opposition was 'anti-Japanese'. [1] I said that he knew that we
had an election in May-and that he understood what politics were.

I directed his particular attention to the last two paragraphs
which were to the effect that if Labour won the election, they
would know how to deal with the Japanese. Nishi got the point-in
fact I didn't leave the subject until I was sure that he had got
it. His Counsellor made notes of what I was saying. I was careful
not to say that the situation would be any different after the

1 An article by A.A. Calwell, Deputy Leader of the Federal Labor
Opposition, entitled 'Soft Talk to Japs Is No Good', was published
in the Melbourne newspaper Truth on 13 February. It began: 'The
Menzies Government is pro-Japanese, although the great majority of
Australians are anti-Japanese and are appalled at Mr Menzies
'attitude.' The second last paragraph read: 'Of the three parties
Labor is the only one which can be relied upon not to give way to
Japanese cajolery, bluff and blackmail'.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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