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Historical documents

76 Minutes Of The Interdepartmental Committee On Gatt

12th October, 1954


Mr Durie Prime Minister's Department
Mr Hall " " "

Mr Jennings " " "

Mr Heyes Department of Trade and Customs
Mr Robertson " " "

Mr Vincent " " "

Mr Warwick Smith Department of Commerce and Agriculture
Mr Millwood " " "

Mr McClintock " " "

Dr Whitelaw Department of the Treasury
Mr Upton Department of External Affairs
Mr Hartnell Department of National Development
Mr Livingston " " "

Trade Talks with Japan
The committee resumed discussion on the proposed submission to
Ministers on trade talks with Japan and had before it the
following papers:

Introduction and background to discussions-Prime Minister's

Possible types of agreement-Department of Trade and Customs.

Concessions we might seek from Japan-Department of Commerce and

The representatives of the Departments of Commerce and
Agriculture, National Development and External Affairs felt that
it should be possible to find a suitable basis for an agreement
and that an agreement on the lines of the Canadian example was the
most attractive type to form a basis for negotiation as it would
provide the most comprehensive type of agreement possible
consistent with providing adequate safeguards for Australian
industry. However the opinion of the representatives of the
Department of Trade and Customs was that such an agreement would
be almost impossible to administer and [they] felt that a more
satisfactory basis would be a quota principle. The representative
of the Treasury considered that it would be unwise to take any
introductory step for the commencement of trade talks whilst there
were any doubts as to our ability to find a basis for an agreement
that would effectively safeguard our interests.

It was agreed that Prime Minister's Department should prepare a
draft paper combining the three papers before the meeting taking
into account the comments of the committee. The committee also
agreed that the Department of Trade and Customs should prepare a
list of some of the more important items which were considered
vulnerable to Japanese competition and a statement on the
administrative difficulties which would confront the Department if
a trade agreement similar to the Canadian example were negotiated
with Japan.

[AA : A609/1, 555/120/14]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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