45 Cabinet Committee [1] Decision Oc(D)9

16th October, 1953

Japan and G.A.T.T.

The Committee's discussion related to the letter of 9th October, 1953, from the United Kingdom High Commissioner to the Prime Minister proposing that United Kingdom and Australia support a proposal for Japanese participation in the G.A.T.T. subject to specific safeguards. The Committee also had before it a draft telegram prepared by Lord Swinton, Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, in anticipation of Australian acceptance of the proposal.

The Committee discussed at some length the Japanese application for accession to the G.A.T.T. and the implications of the current proposals for a form of limited Japanese participation while the application for accession is pending.

It was agreed that (1) As far as Australia is concerned the Japanese application for accession should follow the recognised G.A.T.T. procedures.

(2) The Australian Delegation should not support proposals which in effect extended special concessional treatment to Japan.

(3) Previous instructions to the Australian Delegation to the 8th Session of the G.A.T.T. Contracting Parties (Cabinet Decision 808 of 13th August, 1953 [2]) to abstain from voting or questions relating to Japanese accession on participation should be confirmed.

(4) The Prime Minister would convey the substance of this decision to Lord Swinton.

1 The Committe on Overseas Commercial Relations. Ministers present were Menzies (Chairman), O'Sullivan and McBride, with officials representing Departments of the Prime Minister, National Development, External Affairs, Commerce & Agriculture, Trade &

Customs and Treasury.

2 Document 41.

[AA : A4933/XML, VOLUME 27]