366 Department of External Affairs to Mission in Tokyo

Cablegram 554 CANBERRA, 8 September 1947


Your Dept.300. British Commonwealth Conference.

See my immediately preceding telegram. [1]

In accordance with British Commonwealth practice no formal conclusions were reached but discussions revealed wide harmony of views.

2. From telegram sent on 1st September in place of usual weekly news bulletin you will have summary of points on which general agreement was reached up to and including 29th August.

3. On 1st September conference discussed machinery for enforcement, and form of peace settlement. General agreement exists on following:

(a) 'Supervisory' rather than 'Control' Commission to be established to implement terms of treaty.

(b) Representatives of countries contributing directly to winning of Pacific war to sit on Commission.

(c) Commission to meet in Japan.

(d) Undesirable to have occupation forces within Japan after treaty but forces could be available outside Japan.

(e) Strict control over Japanese imports and exports would probably lessen need for military forces either inside or outside Japan.

(f) Commission to confine itself to major controls to prevent Japan from re-arming, and to other functions specifically laid down in treaty, and not to be in a position to bear responsibility for economic difficulties.

(g) Conference noted United Kingdom view that it might be desirable to have two instruments, one which Japan would sign, and the other in the form of an agreement between the controlling powers to keep Japan disarmed and demilitarised.

(h) Treaty to come into force on ratification of 2/3rds of treaty- making powers.

(i) Provision to be made for acceptance of treaty by non-drafting powers.

4. You could unofficially pass onto MacArthur or S.C.A.P.

Officials general outline of telegram mentioned in paragraph 2 above, and of paragraph 3 above. You should stress that there represent general agreement and not binding decisions.

5. Press release and Report on Conference follow by bag.

1 This cablegram repeated the text of Evatt's message conveyed in Document 364.

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