301 Deschamps to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 109 Moscow, 8 April 1947, 7.19 p.m.

SECRET

Japanese Peace Settlement.

At meeting of Dominion Representatives Bevin raised the question of Japanese Peace Settlement. He said he had been considering whether to discuss this question with Marshall in Moscow but had decided against doing so. He was most anxious to keep German and Japanese discussions quite separate and was firmly opposed to following German procedure in Japanese settlement. It would, he felt, be better if procedure for Japan could in the first place be discussed with United States Government in Washington. He was apprehensive that the United States Government, in view of recent developments and in the light of General MacArthur's statement favouring an early peace with Japan, might suddenly announce plans for a peace treaty with Japan within a limited period.

He therefore suggested that the Dominion Governments take the initiative of submitting their views to Washington as soon as possible. He would suggest to Cabinet that it present its views on procedure to the United States Government at an early date and that a study be undertaken forthwith to enable the British Government to formulate its ideas on settlement.

I assured the Foreign Secretary that the Australian Government would endorse his decision not to discuss Japanese settlement with Marshall in Moscow and he determined to keep it separate from German discussions.

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