1 Burton to Kirby

Cablegram 112 CANBERRA, 2 January 1948


Netherlands Minister has raised with Minister again question of shipping ban [1] and, in particular, has asked for an assurance that airplanes and ships calling here will be serviced. Discussion got back to point that there should be some revival of the agreement between Republicans and Dutch under which goods would be lifted from Australia. [2]

2. As soon as 'cease fire' arrangements look to be effective, it would be desirable to raise again the question of trade with the Republic and the revival of the former agreement. If the agreement is so revived, there should be an arrangement whereby goods already shipped and, in particular, trucks are distributed according to the agreement.

3. It is very important that we should have detailed facts regarding use of economic power to control populations. We know you are convinced that economic power is being so used [3], but there is no direct evidence yet. If possible, it would be preferable if the Committee itself could examine the matter. You will appreciate the political importance of having available these facts if attempts to re-establish trade are not successful.

1 The reference is to the Waterside Workers' Federation ban on the loading and unloading of Dutch shipping in Australian ports.

2 The text of the agreement signed by A.K. Gani and J.E. van Hoogstraten on 24 May 1947 is given in Volume XI, Appendix II.

3 See Documents 429 and 434 in Volume XI.

[AA:A3196, 1948, 0.68]