174 Cablegram from Embassy in Tokyo to Department of Foreign Affairs

Tokyo, 6 July 1971

1243.

For J. Colgan—Department of National Development, Canberra.

From Nash.

Following press statement for release through Gallery and Toowoomba.

Press Statement-Tokyo July 6 1971

By Mr Reginald Swartz-Australian Minister for National Development.

Australia viewed as important a Pacific Basin–wide examination of reserves, production and future requirements of petroleum, natural gas and liquid petroleum gas.

The Australian Minister for National Development, Mr Reginald Swartz, said this in Tokyo today in a 'half-way' review of his scheduled 12 days of intensive discussions with Japanese political, industrial and commercial leaders. Mr Swartz said the concept of regional assessment of energy deposits and needs had figured largely in his talks in the United States, Canada and now Japan.

An orderly survey of Pacific Basin energy resources could underpin long-term industrial development in an area of great potential, he said.

Mr Swartz said Australia permitted the export of liquid petroleum gas (LPG), but not of petroleum or natural gas because insufficient reserves had yet been proven for her own use.

He said Australia would welcome Japanese exploration in these fields, both on and off shore.

Some interest had already been shown.

Mr Swartz said he would report to the Australian Government on his exploratory talks in Canada, the United States and Japan on the prospect of further uranium enrichment plants in the Pacific basin.

He emphasised the exploratory nature of the discussions to date, but said progress had been made since the Federal Government had invited to Australia for talks recently the Canadian Minister for Energy, Mines and Resources (Mr Joseph Greene).

Mr Swartz said he would suggest that Australia take the further initiative of proposing discussions with other Pacific Basin countries interested in nuclear development.

Mr Swartz will leave Tokyo on Thursday for Osaka and Kobe to continue talks with companies associated with the importing and processing of Australian resources. He will return to Australia on July 15.

[NAA: A1838, 720/4/9 part 2]