132 Department of External Affairs to Critchley

Cablegram 125 CANBERRA, 18 May 1948

We have been considering your recent reports on political negotiations [1] and hope to comment on them shortly.

Meanwhile, we should like further report on present position as regards trade. We gather from your K.108 [2] that there are some prospects of restoration of internal trade, but that question of Republican foreign trade is still unresolved. We are particularly anxious to have information about Netherlands sea blockade, and would like report covering following points:-

(a) What is extent of blockade, and how do Dutch seek to justify it? How does it affect shipment of native produce from Republican areas? (b) Does it limit fishing and other normal off-shore activities? (c) How far is it responsible for Republic's existing economic disabilities? (d) Has it been discussed in negotiations and what views have Republicans expressed? (e) Are Republicans still trying to develop their own ports through which to conduct foreign trade?

1 Documents 125, 128 and 130.

2 Document 119.

[AA:A1838, 403/3/1/, xvi]