329 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 1772 CANBERRA, 19 December 1946, 5.46 p.m.

Your FEC 316 [1] Atomic research in Japan.

The new United States paper is essentially the same as FEC 024/1 which we opposed previously. [2]

It is our view that research in this field in Japan should be totally prohibited.

We consider that any endeavour to distinguish between peaceful and warlike ends of fundamental research is an unrealistic approach.

Directions based on size or peculiar construction of installations would probably have no more than short term value as result of new discoveries and developments leading to less elaborate methods of production. It is suggested however that these aspects be discussed with Australian representative on Atomic Energy Commission.

Before we could consider whether we could modify our attitude we would need to know reasons which impelled the United States to revive this subject and any arguments they may advance in support of proposal. [3]

1 Dispatched 16 December, it conveyed a U.S. policy paper which proposed allowing Japan limited research in the field of atomic energy, provided such research could have no military application.

2 See Document 103, and note 1 thereto.

3 In Cablegram 1763, despatched 19 December, it was explained that the U.S. paper was intended as a basis of discussion by the F.E.C.

and not necessarily as 'firm US policy'.

[AA:A3300/2, 745B]