339 Embassy in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 934 WASHINGTON, 16 July 1947, 5.21 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

Japanese Settlement.

Your telegrams Nos. 827 and 826 para. 5. [1]

1. Action taken today, Wednesday, at 1.15 p.m. which was earliest time Secretary of State was available.

2. Marshall was, as always, very friendly. He said he would not attempt to make any formal reply today. He also said that he would be glad to have any further information as to our reasons for desiring initial meeting at highest Governmental level rather than one of Deputies and Experts. He said, 'we have given this a great deal of careful thought with a view to using the method that would give us an early start and we reached just the opposite conclusion from you. We felt that the initial meeting of Deputies and Experts would give a good basis to begin on.' He would be glad of any amplification of your views from me to tell him 'the next time I see him' and stressed that he was putting his request in a 'very informal way'.

3. With regard to unacceptability of date of 19th August and Conference of British Commonwealth countries on 26th August, he said, 'we were hoping they would not hold that Conference. But they are going to.' 4. There was an article on United States proposals this morning in Washington Post although no reference New York Times. It was not an official handout and was due to a leakage.

I have sent a full summary separately.

5. I should be glad of an early reply to 2 above.

1 A sign here indicates 'mutilated'; 826 should read 828.

Cablegrams 827 and 828 were sent on 15 July. Paragraph 5 of 828 outlined the reply to be made to the US proposal for a peace conference on the Japanese peace settlement, reiterating the suggestions contained in paragraph 4 of Document 338. Cablegram 827 directed the Embassy to 'leave no doubt in mind Secretary of State that while Australia has been advocate of early conference, date suggested, as must be well known to State Department, is utterly unacceptable and impracticable.'

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