448 Australian Government to Addison

Cablegram 17 CANBERRA, 20 January 1947, 9.15 p.m.

Your D.19 and D.39. Draft Trusteeship agreement for Japanese Mandated Islands.

1. The ultimate solution is control of these islands by the United States. At the same time we do not regard this as an isolated question but as an integral part of the Pacific settlement. To isolate the question of the Mandated Islands from the settlement with Japan as a whole is in our opinion an approach almost untenable both politically and juridically.

2. With the fullest desire to support the ultimate objective of the United States we regard both timing and procedure as erroneous. We think the course proposed by the United States will only add to the difficulties of achieving their objective.

3. In a message through its Ambassador in Canberra the United States Government recently undertook to support the claim of Australia to be a principal party in the negotiation of the Japanese settlement. in view of this we find it difficult to understand the present approach which apparently disregards Australia's vital interest in the disposal of the territories concerned.

4. We feel that on such matters being raised with the United Kingdom by the United States Australia's right be a primary party in all negotiations should be insisted upon. In view of our interests and our responsibilities, for example in relation to the occupation of Japan, we cannot accept the assumption that we should deal with the United States other than directly. In our view such negotiations should not be entered into unless Australia participates from the outset.

[AA : A1838, 333/4, i]