647.116/153: Telegram

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

Your June 5, 6 p.m. It will probably take several days longer to obtain a reply to our note. In transmitting this I took the liberty of omitting the last clause, as the Australian note of June 6th (see my June 8, 5 p.m.18) which crossed the Department’s instruction, had already outlined the Government’s intended policy toward American trade.

Once we obtain written confirmation that the Collector of Customs is acting under instructions I do not see how we can any longer postpone the routine suspension of our trade agreement rates to Australian products; beyond that step, however, I can see no move we could make in the field of trade without risking still further measures of restriction.

The public for the moment is paying little attention to possible American reaction to the Government’s new policy as it is genuinely alarmed over Japanese threats to retaliate against Australian wheat, flour and wool. If this retaliation should materialize on a large scale there might well be serious repercussions hereof.

  1. Not printed; it transmitted a summary of the note of June 6, supra.