202 Department of External Affairs to Ball

Cablegram 10 CANBERRA, 22 APRIL 1946


1. Questions of extent of authority of Allied Council and of procedure raised in your ACJ/3 and related telegrams [1] are under consideration by Dr. Evatt and British Commonwealth Governments concerned.

2. For your own confidential information only, present departmental views are as follows:-

MacArthur's replies to Russian requests for advance information are generally satisfactory and the reasonable line you adopted in first meeting is still appropriate. As to MacArthur's view of extent of authority of Council, however, we agree with you and hold to our preliminary views as conveyed to London and repeated to you. We appreciate your feeling that challenge to authority of Council is being made and are in full sympathy with you in your present difficult position. Nevertheless hasty action in Tokyo would not assist in reaching a workable solution. The principle of Allied participation in control of Japan is in question. This is of high importance and must be a matter for careful consultation between the four British Commonwealth Governments concerned. Delay is, therefore, unavoidable though we realise the difficulties involved. As regards procedure we had it in mind before learning of A[t]cheson's appointment as Chairman to suggest a special meeting of Council members and advisers to arrive at agreed rules, and this may still be appropriate. [2]

3. Instructions are under consideration and will follow as soon as possible.

1 See Document 201 and note 2 thereto.

2 Atcheson's appointment was announced on 22 April.

[AA:A1067, P46/10/33/19, i]