167 Jamieson to Burton

Memorandum 16, SEOUL, 20 June 1949

Subject: Korea-Australia Relations On June 18th my wife and I were invited to tea with the President and Mme. Syngman Rhee.

[matter omitted]

The President then took up the subject of possible trade with Australia. He said that there would be many things that Korea could buy from Australia and for certain items there would be no difficulty over payment. He had not developed any specific ideas, but had been turning over in his mind the possibility of a goodwill envoy visiting Australia. Such an envoy might not necessarily be a commercial expert but would be accompanied by someone well versed in trade and shipping problems. He was not thinking particularly of barter trade, which would be difficult because of the few things Korea could supply Australia until the results of the ECA[1] recovery programme became felt.

The President said he wondered what the reaction of the Australian Government to his idea of a goodwill mission would be. He had taken up the idea of a similar mission to Canada through Dr. Chough Pyong Ok[2] and the Canadian Ambassador in Washington, but in view of my presence here he had felt that in the case of Australia he would rather have a talk with me.

I informed the president that I would report our conversation to you by airmail.

[1] United States Economic Cooperation Administration.

[2] Chough Pyong Ok, head of the Republic of Korea's Liaison Committee with UNCOK and permanent observer of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations.

[AA : A1838, 3127/10/1, I]