473 Department of External Affairs to Ball

Cablegram 54 CANBERRA, 24 March 1947


Your Dep.13. [1] Representation.

We have now given consideration to the question of Australian representation in Tokyo in the light of your observations and those of Mr. Eckersley. We feel that the time has come to constitute a single Australian Mission in Japan so far as civilian functions are concerned in order that available personnel may be used to best advantage and Australian interests represented at a level suited to the more developed conditions of the occupation.

We therefore wish you to advise General MacArthur that the Government desires to establish an Australian Mission in Tokyo with yourself as Head of the Mission. We assume that General MacArthur's acceptance of this would establish the principle of diplomatic status for members of your staff including attached personnel. You will of course continue concurrently to represent the four British Governments concerned on the Allied Council for Japan and you should so advise General MacArthur. [2]

The other British Governments concerned have been advised.

Eckersley will now be your First Secretary (Political).

1 Dispatched a February. Ball drew attention to Australia's diminished political standing in Japan and cited a number of examples including SCAP's unwillingness to give diplomatic recognition to Australian staff. He recommended that in the interests of Australia's prestige in the region its political representation should be recognised as an Australian Mission.

[AA : A1838, 1356/1, i]