647.116/181: Telegram

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

Your June 24, 11 a.m. Replying seriatim to your questions:

(1)
The Collector of Customs here is continuing to refuse licenses for the importation of goods on the prohibited list from America while granting them for import from other countries.
(2)
Other collectors of customs are following the same practice under rules laid down by the Ministry of Trade and Customs.
(3)
This practice applies to practically all items on the prohibited list and individual exceptions for special reasons [appear?] to be almost negligible.
(4)
To cite specific cases: we have seen identical applications made by Richardson Orr and Company of Sydney to import lighting fixtures, lamps, radio valves, et cetera, refused in respect to America on June 2nd; granted in respect to Germany on June 3rd. Likewise identical applications made by Gregory and Collins of Brisbane to import drills, lamps, radio valves, scales, et cetera refused (at Brisbane) in respect to America on June 16th; granted in respect to Germany on June 22nd.
(5)
I do not see how we can wait indefinitely for a reply to our note of June 6. I have twice pressed orally for an answer but the matter is held up in the Department of Trade and Customs. I hope that after the President has acted we promptly inform the Australian Government that under any possible interpretation the application of the licensing system was discriminatory to our trade and that accordingly we had no choice but to suspend the generalization of trade agreement concessions to Australian products.

Moffat