611.4731/263: Telegram

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

Referring to Department’s telegram of January 25, 7 p.m., Lyons is in Sydney in connection with the sesquicentennial celebrations, also meetings of the Cabinet scheduled to commence today in Sydney.

At a luncheon yesterday and before the receipt of the Department’s telegram above referred to, I had a talk with him and learned that immediately after my last talk with him in Canberra he had called in Abbott19 and told him he wanted “to go to the bottom of the whole matter.” After this they had released 10 more items from restrictions. He was much surprised to learn that I had not been informed of that action. (That action was unknown to Squire20 as well, but today’s mail has brought me a mimeographed notice dated January 21, 1938, which releases 10 further items.)

In accordance with Department’s telegram of January 25, 7 p.m., I this morning sought and obtained an appointment with the Prime Minister. I had a talk with him at 2:30 and delivered the note.

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It was a brief but highly satisfactory interview closing with expressions of mutual gratification. He does not expect to give publicity to this note until the morning newspapers of the 29th and feels that it is not necessary for his Government to go into details but will rely upon a very brief statement. Personally I think he is still somewhat uncertain of his press and is fearful of giving openings for attack. He wants to make the most of the present occurrence but does not know how to do so without giving further publicity to the fact that Australia has been on our black list.

  1. Edward Abbott, Australian Comptroller General of Customs.
  2. E. C. Squire, American Trade Commissioner at Sydney.