173 Ball to Evatt

Cablegram 146 TOKYO, 7 April 1946, 4.26 p.m.


This afternoon I called on General Marquat the S.C.A.P. Deputy Chairman of the Allied Council. I told him that my call was unofficial, and I wanted to tell him privately of some of my personal reactions to General MacArthur's speech at the opening of the Council session. [1] I said- (1) that in view of F.E.C. resolution of March 20th [2] I was surprised that MacArthur had not mentioned that the draft constitution must be passed by F.E.C. before adoption and that MacArthur had made no reference to F.E.C.

(2) that I was interested to notice that while MacArthur had suggested that free public discussion might produce 'changes in form and detail' in the draft constitution he had not suggested the possibility that alternative drafts may be produced and that such alternative drafts should be treated with the same seriousness as the present draft so long as they conformed to the governing principles of the occupation policy.

(3) that I had noticed that the local press had played up MacArthur's statement that the functions of the Council would be advisory and consultative. I said that I felt MacArthur's statement on the powers of the Council failed to give a complete picture since paragraph 6 of the Allied Council's terms of reference [3] did appear to me to impose some limitations of S.C.A.P.'s executive powers and that some reference to these limitations might have been desirable in order to give the public a complete picture of the Council's functions.

General Marquat expressed friendly surprise at the points which I raised. He gave no indication that he had any knowledge of F.E.C.

resolution of March 20th and said he had not understood that paragraph 6 of the terms of reference implied any restrictions on S.C.A.P.'s executive discretion. He implied that his understanding of the terms of reference was that the last sentences of paragraph 5 overrode the provisions of paragraph 6. Will you please tell me whether you approve of my having raised these questions with General Marquat and wire me whether to pursue them.

1 See Document 171, 2 Document 136.

3 See Document 124, note 2.

[AA:A1067, P46/10/33/17]