611.4731/160: Telegram

The Consul General at Sydney (Moffat) to the Secretary of State

The Prime Minister has now indicated that he will present to Parliament Friday afternoon or evening an amending tariff schedule designed to correct to some extent the adverse balance of trade with America. The new duties will become effective as soon as tabled but must be validated by Parliament within 6 months in order not to lapse. Although the new schedule is a closely guarded secret the best opinion available is that the “general tariff” rather will be substantially increased on a selected list of items of which we are the predominant supplier, with emphasis on luxury and semi-luxury products.

Throughout the past 6 weeks editorial opinion has continued to caution against action directed exclusively at our trade; the Government’s [Page 751] supporters in Parliament on the other hand have been almost unanimous in pressing Lyons to take drastic action.