300 Evatt to Fraser

Cablegram 90 CANBERRA, 2 April 1947, 4 p.m.

SECRET

Japanese Peace Settlement.

1. You will recall General MacArthur's statement that he considered an early peace settlement desirable. [1] Macmahon Ball's reports clearly indicate that MacArthur is facing increasing economic difficulties and that political trends are not as favourable as he has been indicating. [2]

2. Just before MacArthur's statement, I urged in the House [3] an early settlement, but for different reasons. Unless there is an early settlement at which the active belligerents with a right to participate are present, major decisions will continue to be made piecemeal.

3. Since my statement, Macmahon Ball has sent reports indicating that political control is gradually going back to reactionary groups. [4]

4. I have in mind to suggest immediate talks among those members of the British Commonwealth concerned, at which could be discussed both the Japanese settlement and the current control problems.

This need not be on ministerial level but should, I think, take place in Canberra in near future. I should appreciate your co- operation.

1 During a press conference on 17 March, MacArthur pushed for early negotiations for a Japanese peace settlement.

2 See, for example, Document 470.

3 On 26 February.

4 See Document 472.

[AA: A1068, P47/10/61, ii]