307 Addison to Australian Government

Cablegram 75 LONDON, 16 April 1947, 9.20 p.m.


My telegram D.367 of 11th April.

Peace settlement with Japan. We have received by telegram from the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs text of a letter of 13th April from the Australian Charge d'Affaires in Moscow stating that the Commonwealth Government had it in mind to call a conference, possibly in Australia, of those members of the British Commonwealth represented on the Allied Council for Japan, to discuss the peace settlement, after which agreed views could be submitted in Washington.

2. This proposal would differ from that of the United Kingdom Government made in my telegram under reference since (a) It would exclude Canada, and South Africa from the discussion and (b) It contemplates a meeting in Australia instead of London.

3. As regards (a) we feel that all members of the British Commonwealth who were at war with Japan should have the opportunity, if they so desire, to take part in the preliminary intra-Commonwealth consultation. Canada is in fact a member of the Far Eastern Commission, while the Union Government have already indicated their desire to take part in the Conference proposed in my telegram under reference and have nominated their High Commissioner as their representative.

4. As regards (b) as the questions at issue will demand personal attention of the United Kingdom Prime Minister and the Foreign and Dominion Secretaries of State and as it seems important that the Conference should take place at an early date, it is difficult to see how from our point of view, the meeting could take place elsewhere than in London. We greatly hope that, in the circumstances, the Commonwealth Government will agree to the proposal in my telegram under reference, if it proves generally acceptable.

[AA: A1838, 851/51/2]