204 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Sir Geoffrey Whiskard, U.K. High Commissioner in Australia

Letter CANBERRA, 22 November 1940

I have to inform you that the proposals put forward by your Government in cablegrams Z311 and Z312 dated October 19th and 20th [1] have received the consideration of the Commonwealth Government.

2. The Commonwealth Government is in agreement with the interim measures proposed to be put into force throughout the Empire in order to prevent Japan from accumulating stocks of strategic raw materials. This agreement is based on the assumption that all other Governments of the British Commonwealth also agree in principle to the application of the proposed measures and that the control exercised by other British countries and their supply of commodities in which Australia has hitherto had an export trade with Japan conforms to the general plan outlined in the cables under consideration.

3. The Commonwealth Government is prepared to collaborate with the Governments of the United Kingdom, the other Dominions, Allied Powers and the United States in the development of a future economic policy towards Japan. It is considered of the utmost importance that the United States should at once adopt measures identical with the interim measures proposed.

4. The Commonwealth Government has the necessary export control machinery in operation and is ready to put the interim programme into force immediately your Government advises that they are satisfied that the conditions mentioned will be met.

5. The basis for the interim restrictions which the Commonwealth will put into operation will be discussed with you at an early date.

6. An endeavour will also be made to influence producers not to make contracts for the supply of the specified raw materials to Japan without prior consultation with the Commonwealth Government.

7. In conformity with the suggestion made by your Government, export control measures will also be applied to Manchuria and China in order to prevent leakage to Japan.

8. Steps will be taken to impose an export prohibition subject to licence on scrap iron and steel.

9. I should be glad if you would communicate the terms of this letter to His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom.


1 See Document 186, note 6.

[AA:A981, FAR EAST 20B, i]