The negotiations with the Japanese on the pearl fisheries to the north of Australia seem to have been stalled for the last three weeks-and the officers of Commerce and Agriculture Department and of my own Department have come to believe that the Japanese unwillingness to reach a compromise conclusion has not been unconnected with the Japanese Government's concern over the gross out-of-balance in Australian-Japanese trade. As you will know, this out-of-balance reached very considerable proportions in the last 12 months. I attach copy of telegram from our Tokyo Embassy on this.  I have discussed it on the telephone with John McEwen and also with Dr. Roland Wilson (in the Treasurer's absence from Canberra) and all three of us tend to believe that the time has come when some alleviation of our import restrictions should be seriously considered, so far as Japan is concerned. However, this is primarily a matter for your Department. No doubt you have been following this matter and perhaps you may have it in mind to bring some proposal to Cabinet about it. Please regard this letter as reflecting the interest of my Department in this matter and also (as I have good reason to believe) the similar interest of Commerce and Agriculture and Treasury.
I am sending copy of this letter to Artie Fadden and to John McEwen.