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

Cablegram ITO241 GENEVA, 25 July 1947, 10.37 a.m.


Australian United Kingdom negotiations.

Have now prepared requests on United Kingdom which take form of direct requests for tariff concessions and suggestions regarding other forms of assistance or concessions which United Kingdom might give us. In view of United Kingdom anxiety to have our requests now, owing to difficulties with France on wine, we have handed them our direct requests and indicated that they are subject to confirmation following consideration by Cabinet sub- committee.

[matter omitted] [1]

Nature of other forms of concession or assistance is indicated by following quotation from our draft letter to United Kingdom.

Neither letter nor list of proposed forms of assistance has yet been given to United Kingdom.

'-it is clear therefore that when we compare requests to be made by Australia on United Kingdom with requests we have received from United Kingdom there is little possibility on a mutually advantageous basis of Australia making any significant concessions in response to Untied Kingdom requests. It will be necessary therefore if significant responses are to be made for United Kingdom to offer other forms of concession or assistance. Have given this matter great deal of thought and make following suggestions which might be basis of discussion between us- 1. Agreement by United Kingdom to reduction or elimination of certain preferential margins enjoyed by her in other empire countries but which are not enjoyed by Australia particularly in South Africa and India.

2. Agreement by United Kingdom to reduction or elimination of certain preferential margins enjoyed by her in Australia in order assist Australia in her negotiations with foreign countries.

3. A general undertaking in regard to United Kingdom agricultural policy and inter-governmental commodity agreements.

4. General undertaking that United Kingdom Government will collaborate with Australian Government to promote development in Australia of industrial enterprises allied with United Kingdom industry and will participate in early discussions of form which this collaboration should take.

In addition, there may be cases where we have sought concessions from British Colonies which it is difficult for Colony to balance by requests on Australia. In such cases we would, subject to concurrence of Colony concerned, be prepared to regard such concession as justifying concessions by Australia to United Kingdom.'

Draft text of general undertaking regarding agricultural policy is as follows-

'(a) It is requested that United Kingdom Government will in formulating and implementing its agricultural policy and production programme have regard to desirability of maintaining position of Australia in United Kingdom market in regard to primary products and of extending this market as far as practicable.

(b) It is to be agreed that should representations be made by Australian Government regarding agricultural policies in United Kingdom which former considers prejudicial to its export interests, United Kingdom Government will agree to consultation with Australian Government on such matters and will give full consideration to such representations.

(c) United Kingdom Government is asked to give favourable consideration to proposed inter-governmental commodity agreements in which Australian Government is interested.'

Would be glad to have comments on this as soon as possible particularly on proposed undertakings regarding agricultural policy, inter-governmental commodity agreements and industrial enterprises.

Please send copy of this cable to Breen, Secondary Industries Division, for comment in connection with suggested undertaking by United Kingdom regarding collaboration between United Kingdom and Australian governments in development of industry in Australia.

1 The omitted text comprises a list of nine classes of wine and dairy products for which tariff concessions were sought.

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