298 Ball to Evatt

Cablegram Following for the Minister from Macmahon Ball 2,


At the Council on June 12th S.C.A.P. will ask for further advice on the Japanese Government's plan for rural reform. Mindful of the present form this plan is evasive and unsatisfactory and calculated to defeat the main purpose of rural reform. It provides for the sale to tenants of all land over 12 1/4 acres owned by non operating land lords. This is the average for Japan and the limit varies in different districts. This is a large average to set for Japan where two thirds of all the farms are about two and a half acres. It would make less than 20 per cent of the tenants' land available for purchase by tenants. I propose advising that the average maximum area of which land owned may be retained for renting out be reduced to two and a half acres, all land in excess to be made available for sale to tenants. This provision would not apply to land worked by owners. Amendment to the plan would make nearly 70% of tenants' land available for purchase and thus provide basis for worthwhile reform. Discussions with S.C.A.P.'s Agrarian Experts reveals deep dissatisfaction at the Japanese Government's plan and substantial agreement to my proposals. [2]

1 This cablegram series was initiated by Ball to cover comments, suggestions and requests for instructions on A.C.J. matters, following a direction from Evatt that such material should not be included in his 'ACJ' series cables, which were sent directly to other governments concerned (see Document 190, note 6).

2 See also Document 280. A detailed plan for land reform was prepared by Ball's economic adviser, Eric Ward, and tabled on 12 June. On 17 June it was agreed to submit these proposals to MacArthur as the joint advice of the British Commonwealth, Chinese and Soviet Union members of the A.C.J.

[AA:A1838/2, 482/1/7]