101 Australian Government to Addison

Cablegram 115 CANBERRA, 12 May 1947, 11.55 a.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Your telegram 66.

1. We have carefully considered your telegram and after reviewing the whole situation we are prepared to enter into negotiations with you as part of the multilateral negotiations now in progress at Geneva. It is to be understood, however, that our negotiations will be exploratory and non-committal with a view to establishing whether there is a basis for a mutually advantageous agreement having regard not only to the balance of direct bilateral concessions and benefits but also to the multilateral concessions and benefits.

2. Our Delegation has already made clear [the] very real technical and political factors which limit our ability to make substantial reductions over any wide range of protective British Preferential Tariff Rates and to bind existing or reduced rates. We are also perturbed at the United States attitude on wool, the implications of which we are now examining.

3. We are fully appreciative of the special difficulties with which you are at present confronted and our Delegation will explore the matter thoroughly with your representatives.

[AA : A1068, ER47/1/29]