226 Cablegram From Crawford To Mcewen

12th July, 1957



Press interest Japanese Trade Agreement still lively but opposition lacks real sting. Under these circumstances suggest formal hand out not necessary on arrival and it might be preferable to have informal talk with press men, answer questions, etc. To this end propose advising Press of your arrival Monday.

Your own statements in Japan over the last few days have been given a good run and prepared release on day of signature given widest distribution here.

2. Following points might be worth bearing in mind for press conference on arrival:-

(a) You are entitled to feel encouraged by the widespread understanding of the need for the Agreement with Japan and equally widespread recognition of its value.

(b) Wheat Board mission later this month will capitalise on wheat clauses of new Agreement.

(c) Agreement is particularly timely in view of Japan's current deficit on sterling account which would otherwise have invited emphasis upon our previous discriminatory treatment towards Japanese goods and would have increased the risk of specially restrictive measures by Japan of Australia's goods.

(d) Perhaps inadequate appreciation that Section 11 A of Industries Preservation Act enables Government to move speedily and without reference to Tariff Board wherever and once it is satisfied a case has been made to invoke the special action provisions of the Agreement to protect Australian industry.

(e) There is no question of the Japanese Government's agreement being required before the Commonwealth Government can take such special action to safeguard Australian industry. The Agreement requires consultation but only as far in advance as is practicable. This point arises because Withall [1] has contended that Japanese must consent before Australian Government can act.

(f) Some confusion apparently exists about the import licence position for Japanese goods. This may arise in part from conflicting reports from Japan about possible increases in Japanese exports to Australia as a result of the new Agreement.

The fact is that under the new Agreement importers do not get any additional or new import licences for goods from Japan. They are, however, free to use their existing quotas or licences for certain goods to a greater degree than before for imports from Japan.

(g) Curphey [2] has stated all Japanese goods and containers for them should be marked 'Made in Japan'. If you are questioned on this, the fact is that these requirements are governed by Customs Act and many goods already required to be so marked. However, marking when required applies to like goods from all sources (non- discrimination) and in some cases imposes genuine burden on oversea supplier. Any representations that further goods should be subject to this requirement would be a matter for Minister for Customs.

(h) Japanese goods get no preference in duties or licensing. They receive the same import treatment as the goods of all other major trading countries and British goods retain their full preferences against foreign countries.

I will meet you at Mascot.

1 Latham Withall, Federal Director, Associated Chambers of Manufactures.

2 A.N. Curphey, General Manager, Victorian Chamber of Manufactures.