111 Minute From Critchley To Plimsoll

12th August, 1955


Australian Policy Towards Japan As you will see from Mr Eckersley's paper [1], we have done a good deal to put the Cabinet decision into effect. Progress with the war criminal problem is particularly satisfactory.

2. The most important single issue is trade. We could and should have done more were it not for the resistance of other Departments, notably Trade and Customs Trade is of course a continuing problem.

3. The other big issues in the next twelve months will be:

(a) Pearl fisheries;

(b) a civil Aviation agreement.

4. The most outstanding (and in my opinion unsatisfactory) lack of progress to date has been our failure to give Japanese business men the same rights of entry into Australia as other Asians.

Immigration has adopted a slightly more liberal attitude to this problem recently but the results are still not satisfactory. The Japanese may be expected to raise this issue again when talks are held on trade. The answer depends on the Minister for Immigration but no doubt he will want to share responsibility with Cabinet.

Since we stand to gain commercially as well as in our general relations with Japan from a more reasonable policy, it is suggested that we continue to do what we can to persuade Immigration to submit a favourable recommendation to Cabinet.

5. I don't see that there is anything that we can do along the lines suggested by Mr Eckersley in Paragraph 27. [2]

1 Document 110.

2 Plimsoll passed Documents 110 and 111 to Casey, noting that the Department of External Affairs was re-examining the question of admission of Japanese businessmen 'to see whether this Department should push Immigration further at this stage'.