220 Letter From Menzies To Home [1]

4th July, 1957


You spoke recently about the possibility of some gradual basis of operation of the proposed Trade Agreement between Australia and Japan.

I have passed your representations on to the Government in Australia and also to the Minister for Trade, who is at present in Tokyo.

As you know, the Australian Government is convinced that the weight of circumstances of our trade and other relations with Japan make an agreement necessary of the kind proposed. But we are also convinced that the satisfactory operation of the agreement will depend a good deal upon a general restraint by the Japanese authorities in developing their export programme to Australia and the Minister for Trade is therefore at present engaged in trying to develop this understanding at the political level in Japan.

This is not without relation to the point you mentioned.

I might add that while the agreement will remove import licensing discriminations which are being maintained now against Japan alone, and will put her goods on the same tariff footing on entry into Australia as the goods of almost all foreign countries, there is of course no doubt that United Kingdom traders will continue to enjoy the guaranteed margins of preference.

1 Lord Home, UK Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations.

[AA : A1838/283, 759/1/7, vii]