414 Mission in Tokyo to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram Dept 123 TOKYO, 9 May 1947, 4.30 p.m.


Resumption of Private Trading with Japan 1. I refer to your 120 [1] paragraphs 1,2,5,6,7 and to Mr.

Chifley's reported statement that Australia is opposed to private trading until after the peace treaty and that this was unlikely before the end of this year. [2]

2. Gascoigne has told me privately that he is very puzzled by the Australian attitude, since the United Kingdom is anxious to resume private trade as soon as possible.

3. It appears to me that unless we can persuade other Allied Governments to agree with us, we are in danger of falling far behind in the competition for Japan's trade. 4. The purpose of this message is merely to point out [3] to the Government that the imminent arrival here of American and other Allied traders will in fact give tremendous advantage to the first arrivals. For example the 'impartial allocation of accommodation' will in practice mean first come first served.

5. I should be grateful of advice if in changing circumstances there should be any modification of our policy.

1 Document 412 was repeated as Cablegram 120 to Tokyo.

2 See Sydney Morning Herald, 7 May.

3 A sign here indicates 'mutilated'.

[AA : A1068, P47/10/61, ii]