399 Embassy in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 815 WASHINGTON, 23 June 1947, 641 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

F.E.C. 162.Japanese Whaling.

1. Mr. Makin accompanied by Plimsoll called on Hilldring, Assistant Secretary of State, today and forcefully made representations along the lines set out in your 723.

2. Hilldring replied that the Australian proposal was receiving earnest consideration at highest levels and General Marshall would consider it tomorrow. He also believed that President Truman had been informed of the Australian views on Japanese whaling. He regretted publication of MacArthur's statement while the Australian proposal was still being considered, but assured us that the 'door was not closed'. MacArthur's announcement 'will not interfere with complete nor free discussion of the Australian proposal'.

3. He said he could not indicate the probable United States reply at present. The question was bound up with internal United States politics and the difficulty of getting appropriations from Congress. Australian views have a great deal of sympathy from the State Department, General Marshall and President Truman, but 'we are not free agents'. The Economic experts were carefully examining the Australian proposal to see its effects on the United States Budget.

4. He repeated that the expedition did not constitute a precedent and that the future of Japanese whaling industry was a matter for the Peace Conference to decide.

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