398 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 723 CANBERRA, 23 June 1947, 6.30 P.m. [1]


Further to our Washington 717. [2] Japanese Whaling.

1. Confirming telephone conversation it is desired that the Ambassador make immediate protest to the State Department against the decision announced from Tokyo, despite the fact that as you have explained by telephone it was arrived at after our alternative proposal had been made officially and at a time when it was apparently under active consideration.

2. Please keep in close touch with United Kingdom Embassy and endeavour to obtain their support also New Zealand for this protest, and also in F.E. C. discussion on Japanese whaling on Thursday next.

3. In F.E.C. follow lines indicated in paragraph 3 of our telegram under reference[3], and take strong attitude along lines of paragraph 1 above. We rely on you to obtain maximum support to ensure that there is (a) disapproval in principle of continuation by Japanese of whaling industry in Antarctica and in any event (b) approval of principle implied in Australian proposal viz. that Allies themselves be given all rights of operating any emergency expedition for purpose of obtaining oil and food to be allocated by F.E.C. or I.E.F.C. [4] or S.C.A.P., it being guaranteed that there will be strict observance of international whaling convention.

4. In view importance and urgency of matter Plimsoll's departure could be postponed until next plane after Thursday's meeting. [5]

1 An alternative time of 6.35 p.m. is also given on the cited copy.

2 Dispatched 23 June, it reported that MacArthur had announced a second Japanese whaling expedition 'pursuant to instructions from the United States Government'.

3 That is, to inform the FEC that Australia had offered to conduct an expedition, either separately or with other allies, and to hand over the catch to SCAP for distribution. The announcement had been made without this offer being considered or acknowledged.

4 International Emergency Food Council.

5 Plimsoll left Washington for Australia on 28 June.

[AA : A4311/1, BOX 487]