114 Australian Delegation, Geneva, to Cabinet Sub-Committee on Trade and Employment Conference

Cablegram ITO153 GENEVA, 21 June 1947, 12.48 p.m.


Article 25 comes up for discussion on 27th June. [1] We had intended seeking an amendment to paragraph 2 (D) to cover sugar embargo but it is now proposed that the whole of Chapter V will not apply to commodities the subject of international agreements under Chapter VII and this will meet embargo point.

It seems, however, that the embargo on export of stud merino sheep will be very difficult to cover. We had ideas that some of the exceptions might be stretched to meet it but now feel that the only case that we could put up would not be well received and before attempting it we should like to know whether the Government thinks we should pursue it. History of the subject with the arguments for and against (including those that have been advanced by the different interests from time to time) is of course well recorded in the Commerce Department and Mr. Pollard will recall recent representations that were made to him. Our feeling here is that if the Government could see its way to lifting embargo it would be best because we fear that the opposition will be definite and because of difficulty we see in meeting such opposition. We learn in the course of our private explorations that the United States has a similar case in respect of tobacco seed and we understand that they have decided that they must let this go.

We also feel that to try and make an exception of an arrangement such as this would be inconsistent with the line we have followed on other aspects of Charter for example industrial development. We think it would be practicable to secure the right to refrain from lifting the embargo for some time, possibly one to two years or even longer.

1 Article 25 concerned the elimination of quantitative restrictions.

[AA : A1068, ER47/1/28, i]