34 Ball to Evatt

Cablegram [Secret and] Personal for Minister 3 [1] TOKYO, 23 July


I feel the least happy [2] about the situation that is developing here. I am sure there is a quiet and effective campaign to minimise in Japanese eyes the influence and prestige of all Allied Powers but the American. I do not think that this campaign is directed primarily or even particularly against us but since after the United States we are the most strongly represented Nationals in occupation, it affects us most.

2. What is happening tends to defeat your object that Australia and the British Commonwealth should exert an influence on post- armistice control of Japan commensurate with their contribution to the defeat of the Japanese in the Pacific war.

3. The policy being followed by S.C.A.P. is covert rather than overt and takes the form of inflicting minor indignities on the staffs of diplomatic missions and subjecting them to restrictions which seriously hamper their work. For example S.C.A.P. has addressed a public memorandum to 'Heads of Foreign Missions' and has explained that all people here other than Japanese and United States citizens are 'foreign nationals'. S.C.A.P. insists that all communications between them and competent sections of G.H.Q. and the Japanese Government must be through S.C.A.P. Diplomatic Section, that requests for information must be made in writing and moreover that requests for information from members of the Allied Council must be through the additional Agency of the Secretary General of the Council. I have made two written requests for information and each time have been kept waiting four weeks for a reply. S.C.A.P. has recently asked the Council a number of questions of a highly technical and administrative kind, has given three working days notice of these questions and has blocked the channels of information and then Atcheson has expressed disappointment that the Council has not been able to give MacArthur 'constructive and specific advice'.

4. I think that there is no doubt that the American attitude towards the Council is to undermine its effectiveness wherever possible. It cannot succeed as a deliberative body since his habit is to come armed with prepared speeches which may or may not be appropriate to the tenor of the discussion and which he seems mainly concerned should reach the press before other Council members have made any statements. I do my best to preserve the Council's and our own status but do not always succeed for fear of saying something that might be construed as a breach of Anglo- American accord. I feel that Atcheson takes advantage of this situation and I seriously question whether it is desirable for us to submit ourselves indefinitely to the kindly contempt he regularly shows towards 'foreign' colleagues. While I recognise the importance of permanent union of all British and American interests I doubt whether our continued swallowing of indignities will help that cause to prosper. The British Commonwealth is necessary to American survival as America is to ours. I think that MacArthur and Atcheson living in the isolated atmosphere of Occupation Headquarters and dealing continually with sycophantic Japanese may often forget this. I believe that we can afford to rise from our knees and talk on our feet. I would therefore urge that it should be decided on highest level whether the execution of the occupation policy in Japan should be an Allied or exclusively American responsibility and if it is to be exclusively American I regard it advisable to remove the pretence of an Allied Council.

5. In the light of the foregoing considerations my position as your appointee has not been made easier by Gascoigne's appointment. [3] My own and I am sure the general understanding was that Australia would 'represent' the entire British Commonwealth in the Pacific by virtue of her territorial position and her part in the prosecution of the war. The arrival of Gascoigne with Ambassadorial status means that the representative of the whole now becomes junior [to] representative of part.

Gascoigne will inevitably be regarded as senior British Commonwealth Diplomatic Representative in Tokyo thus further reducing our standing on the Council. The situation is aggravated by the fact that the American and Chinese members both have Ambassadorial and that the Russian member's political adviser has the same status. I suggest you might consider whether it is desirable for the British Commonwealth Member to continue in a subordinate position.

6. Please understand that while the general situation does not grow more happy I think my personal relations with MacArthur are satisfactory. Gascoigne shows a strong desire to co-operate on the friendliest basis and all the United Kingdom Officers go out of their way to give me the fullest help.

7. Thank you for your last telegram.

1 For explanation of cable series initiated by Ball, see Volume IX, Documents 190, note 6, and 298, note 1.

2 All versions have this wording.

3 Sir Alvary Gascoigne, appointed U.K. Political Representative, Japan, with rank of Ambassador, on 17 June.

[AA:A1838/238, 482/1/7]