336 Makin to Evatt

Cablegram 911 WASHINGTON, 11 July 1947, 7.54 p.m.


Japanese Settlement.

My immediately preceding telegrams.

1. Immediately after I got communication from State Department this morning British Embassy consulted us and advised that they had had no information or any hints as to what subject would be.

They expected however from the fact that invitations were addressed to F.E.C. countries and in view of your recent instructions to us (Your 737 of 16th. June) [1] that United States would raise questions of procedure. They said again that they were still without advice from London in reply to their two 'immediate' telegrams and had concluded that London were consulting Canberra.

2. All the F.E.C. countries sent representatives this afternoon except U.S.S.R. Hilldring said U.S.S.R. had replied they were not able to attend and he had arranged for communication to be made to them later.

3. Meeting lasted nearly an hour and there were numerous questions, several of the representatives finding text obscure.

4. In reply to a question of Stirling's it emerged that United States envisaged a conference in two stages. The first stage would be in two parts-first, the meeting of 'deputies and experts' of the eleven States, and secondly the meeting of their foreign ministers. The second stage would bring in the other States [at] a general conference. Vincent [2] added that there were 49 including 14 Latin Americans.

5. The Canadian representative asked at just what stage United States envisaged bringing the others in. Hilldring replied 'We ought not to bring them in too early'. In reply to another Canadian question, Hilldring said that while the question of the other States' participation could wait to be decided at the conference itself it was desirable to have discussions on it beforehand.

6. Stirling asked how long State Department anticipated the proposed meeting of 'deputies and experts' would last. Hilldring replied that they had their own ideas but had deliberately omitted this and also any reference to agenda from statement, preferring other States should express their views. Carter Vincent added that 'Date of 19th. August was purely suggestive and that it was quite conceivable that a majority would not agree with that date'.

Vincent made it clear that he personally contemplated the 'deputies and experts' phase running on without interruption until the foreign Ministers were ready.

7. China asked whether United States envisaged all questions being raised at Conference-Economic, Political, Territorial-and reply was yes.

8. India asked 'What about the veto?' Hilldring said that United States would like to discuss that before the Conference. India replied 'You know Russia won't agree to forego veto. If so will you leave them out of the Conference?' Hilldring countered, 'We must wait and see. There may be different circumstances.' 9. Later Hilldring explained that word 'deputies' had been used loosely and what they meant was 'persons deputised by foreign Ministers'. He said that United States inclined to the view that their delegation at the 'deputies and experts' phase should be headed by one of their retired Ambassadors.

10. In reply to a question by the Philippines representative Hilldring said United States would like to consider the meeting which they were proposing should begin on 19th August as the commencement of the Conference proper. 'We have two reasons for this', he went on. 'First we want a speedy Treaty. Secondly we would like the phase of the Ministers of foreign affairs to be a short one. As it is we can hardly pass our own Secretary of State around to fill the places he is expected to go to.' 11. Hilldring emphasised that the proposed Conference was, in the United States view, entirely separate from F.E.C. In reply to China he said that he envisaged F.E.C. continuing its work simultaneously with Conference though great care would have to be taken to see that they were coordinated.

1 That is, Document 329. The date should read 26 June.

2 John Carter Vincent, Director, Office of Far Eastern Affairs, US Department of State.

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