282 Department of External Affairs to Evatt

Cablegram A4 CANBERRA, 30 May 1946


The following are departmental comments on the draft treaty on disarmament and demilitarisation of Japan. [A]. Re Sir F.

Eggleston's comments. [1]

Para 1. The provisions of the Potsdam Declaration which relate to disarmament of Japan (paragraphs 7,9, 11 and 12) refer only to the period of occupation. Preamble of draft Treaty, however, recognises this and makes this the reason for a Treaty. The Treaty would be intended to go beyond Potsdam.

Para 2. Both F.E.C. and A.C.J. have powers (policy and advice on execution respectively) relating to terms of surrender (and thus Potsdam) and so are directly concerned with disarmament but only during occupation.

Para 3.-F.E.C. is limited [t]o Potsdam, unless 'other matters' are referred to it by agreement among member Governments (Terms of Reference 11.A.3) Para 4.-Treaty is designed to be quadripartite. Question of Australia's status in the Pacific. Would this be satisfied by (a) reference to Treaty for consideration by F.E.C. o[r] (b) substitution of 'British Commonwealth' for 'United Kingdom' permitting Australian participation in negotiation and signature? In either of these cases would (c) Australian representation on Control Commission meet requirements of status? B. General: This draft treaty provides the machinery for a continuation of control covering certain of the objectives of the Allied Occupation, related to Japan's war potential.

Although Article 5 provides that the further continuation of the controls after 25 years is dependent inter alia upon the consideration of 'whether the Japanese people have so far progressed in the reconstruction of their life on a democratic and peaceful basis', the treaty makes no specific provision for post- occupation measures to ensure the strengthening of democratic tendencies.

It is our view that the political objectives cannot be achieved in a short period and that some provision may have to be made to ensure continued effort towards their attainment in the post- occupation period.

In view, however, of the vital importance of the considerations put forward by Mr. Byrnes and referred to in Para. 4 of Sir Frederic Eggleston's comment you may feel that the Draft Treaty should be supported.

In addition, consideration could later be given to other means for the attainment of these political objectives.

1 See Document 281.

[AA:A3196,1946, 0.10865]