338 Evatt to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 4 HMAT KANIMBLA, 14 July 1947, 10.43 a.m.


Your telegrams on Japanese Settlement incomplete and difficult to decipher. However, the following course of action is indicated:

'A' 1. The time of the meeting is quite impracticable because of the British Commonwealth Conference at Canberra on 26th August already announced.

2. I entirely accept the general idea that eleven countries represented on F.E.C. should take part in the preliminary stage of the Japanese Peace Conference, without prejudice to questions of representation, voting, etc.

3. Such preliminary stage should certainly be held during the present year. This is strictly in accordance with what we have frequently advocated.


In order to implement the above practical steps might be as follows:

1. Meeting of representatives of the eleven Governments should constitute the first stage of the Japanese Peace Settlement.

2. Insistence that each Government be free to appoint its representatives on the highest level. This is necessary in principle because there cannot possibly be expert or deputy or committee system until bodies are properly established, and until principles and directions for them have been decided at the highest level.

3. Subsequently, the committees may undertake enquiries and investigations, bring back reports to the Peace Conference proper.

4. Positive suggestions, therefore, are:

(a) Welcoming in principle of the present move by the United States with the reminder that it accords with our publicly expressed desire for early settlement for Japan.

(b) Emphasis on confusion of thought springing, no doubt, from the Council of Foreign Ministers' procedure, and which has led to the thought that Deputy or Committee system could be started without prior meeting at the highest Governmental level.

(c) Suggestion of short initial meeting of the eleven Governments immediately prior to or after the Assembly meeting.

(d) Insistence that 19th August is utterly impracticable date as the United States State Department must well have known. It is surprising and disappointing that this was not pointed out by the Ambassador himself immediately he heard of the idea and instructions to Washington should, therefore, be very explicit.

'C' My ideas seem to be in substantial accordance with your telegram No. 1 of 13th July, except that your suggestion is for short initial session immediately prior to the Assembly.

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