231 Cablegram From Department Of External Affairs To Embassy In Tokyo

6th September, 1957



Debate on the Japanese Trade Agreements has continued in both Houses. Opposition has moved an amendment expressing disapproval of the Agreement. Senate has in addition an alternative amendment by Democratic Labour, requesting that the Government immediately restrict imports from Japan to those which will not cause unemployment in Australian industries.

Low wages, child labour and poor working conditions in Japan have been stressed by Opposition. Also United States investment in Japan.

Government back benchers have supported Agreement but stress need for vigilance.

Prime Minister entered debate last night on need for a trade agreement, the benefit for Australia from the Agreement, the improbability of Japan acting so as to cause Australia to abrogate the Agreement. In supporting the safeguards, he said that Japan is being given a list, subject to variation, of Australian industries likely to be sensitive to Japanese competition. We have not released any further information on sensitive list. [1]

Debate continues in Representatives Tuesday, Senate adjourned until 1st October.

1 Annex A, Document 164.

[AA : A1838/280, 3103/10/2, v]