116 Webb to Evatt

Cablegram 83 TOKYO, 5 March 1946, 4 p.m.


The following is a copy of a letter this day addressed by me to General MacArthur. This is the culmination of some disturbing suggestions dropped by American Officers to British and Australian prosecutors as to General MacArthur's position in relation to this and other military tribunals. Begins- I have been considerably disturbed because I understood from Mr.

Keenan in a conversation on Sunday that you held the view that if any doubt by [1] as to interpretation to be placed upon the charter, it was your intention to direct the tribunal what you intended the charter to mean and that the tribunal would be bound to follow this interpretation.

I must make it clear to you that members of the tribunal now in Tokyo as well as myself cannot subscribe to the view that anybody except the tribunal has power to interpret the charter.

If your view was correctly stated by Mr. Keenan and you intend to act on it then it is incompatible with my position as a member and President of the tribunal and I shall be compelled to tender my resignation.

Would you please tell me at your early convenience what position you take up in relation to the charter. [2] Ends.

1 A sign here indicates 'word apparently omitted'.

2 on 5 March, MacArthur replied that he would respect the Tribunal's independence and that he would leave interpretation of the charter to it.

[AA:A3195, 1946, 1.5817]