258 Sir John Latham, Minister to Japan, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 59 TOKYO, 28 January 1941

In the event of severance of relations it will be necessary to entrust protection of our interests and legation property to some friendly neutral representative. The United Kingdom have selected Argentine and I suggest that you take the necessary steps at Buenos Aires and in due course authorise me to request the Argentine Ambassador to take charge of our interests also.

I presume that you are in touch with the United Kingdom Government and know their intentions and that you will take the necessary steps to ensure no Japanese officials or citizens leave Australia until you are sure all Australian officials and citizens have left Japan. There might well be reciprocity re both officials and citizens as it is unlikely that Australia would want to retain Japanese civilians in internment. It is possible that most satisfactory method will be for each country to provide transport for the personnel of the other and their effects, or alternatively transport to neutral port of America. [1]


1 Latham was informed on 24 February that the Argentine Govt had agreed to take charge of Australian interests in Japan. See cablegram 69 on file AA:A981, Consuls 7, i.

[AA:A981, CONSULS 7, i]