272 Evatt to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 671 WASHINGTON, 27 May 1946,11.37 p.m.


This is in answer to your UNY65 and UNY66. [1]

It is much too premature to plan for resumption of relations with so-called Japanese Trade Union Movement and Labour Organisations in other countries and International Labour Organisations generally. The question should be deferred at least until the Trade Union Movement in Japan is established by its own workers.

There is no grave objection to strictly limited Trade Union missions to Japan providing they are strictly under S.C.A.P.

control. At the same time I deprecate attaching much importance to this matter at the present juncture. It is a dangerous policy to multiply unnecessarily causes of disputation with MacArthur to whom Australia owes so much. It is a time for exercising restraint and common sense. it will take many years before it is possible for a real Trade Union Movement to become potent in Japan which will certainly try to employ all the tricks of Germany between 1919 and 1939.

1 Both dispatched 27 May. They conveyed firstly Ball's request for instructions before an A.C.J. discussion on the question of Japanese trade unions resuming relations with international Labour organisations, and secondly, the preliminary views of the External Affairs Dept that, while it was too soon to consider travel abroad for Japanese union missions or membership of the I.L.O., development of a democratic union movement in Japan should be encouraged and union representatives attached to the Labour Section of S.C.A.P.

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