647.006/54: Telegram

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

Recent Ministerial speeches taken in conjunction with customhouse communiqués have now clarified the procedure in applying the Government’s new restrictive measures to point where there can be no further misunderstandings on the part of the business community. For us to request a more formal broadcasting might hereto only result in an uncompromising statement of intentions which would make an eventual liberalization of procedure more difficult.

In order that the Department may have a brief summary of the situation insofar as it affects American trade which could be made available to business interests in the United States I submit the following:

  • “1. Only such American goods as are on the so-called prohibited list which has been released by the Australian customs representative in New York require an import license.
  • 2. Licenses will be granted for goods on the prohibited list which were ordered before May 22nd and are in transit on or before June 30th.
  • 3. Two items on the prohibited list receive special treatment, namely, chassis and typewriters. Licenses for import from the United States will be issued for the year ending April 30, 1937, on a quota basis (100 percent for chassis, 75 percent for typewriters) calculated on the number imported from the United States during the year ended April 30, 1936. Licenses will be rationed out to importers in proportion to each one’s individual imports during that period.
  • 4. Collectors of customs have received instructions to refuse and are automatically refusing licenses to import from the United States all other items on the prohibited list unless applications are accompanied by documents setting forth that they are unprocurable except at greatly increased cost from countries with which the balance of trade is in Australia’s favor or not heavily adverse to Australia.
  • 5. Applications which are accompanied by such documents are being referred to Minister of Trade and Customs at Canberra who will consider whether the goods are essential goods of a kind unprocurable to better advantage elsewhere and will rule on each case individually.”