480 Evatt to Ball

Cablegram 302 CANBERRA, 16 June 1947

MOST IMMEDIATE PERSONAL SECRET

1. I have just discovered that reply to you sent by Department on Saturday referred to Butler who has been throwing out casual hints of possible visit to Japan by himself. You should, however, regard references to him in the telegram as sent in error. [1] Possibility of Butler's going has nothing to do with the Australian Government. Any inclusion of him may well be embarrassing.

2. Accordingly please now convey to MacArthur my acceptance of the invitation. I think the Press statement might issue from him in general terms and I hope it could refer to my close wartime association with him during his command in the S.W.P. [2]

3. The time of leaving is conditioned by transport (see 4). I would like to leave about 5th. or 6th. July and to stay partly with MacArthur and partly with yourself. As MacArthur is aware I have always travelled on these missions with my wife and I hope that this can be arranged again by him.

4. Could MacArthur arrange S.C.A.P. transport to and from Japan and could you arrange schedule permitting useful stops.

5. I will let you know later who will come with me. I would hope that you will personally arrange all details. Best regards.

1 On 3 June, following instructions cabled from Canberra the previous day, Ball obtained and telegraphed a personal invitation from MacArthur for Evatt to visit Japan. On 11 June, having received no reply to the invitation, Ball was puzzled by a cablegram from Canberra stating that MacArthur was likely to invite the Minister to Tokyo. See Document 497, under heading 'The Minister's Visit'.

2 South West Pacific Area.

[AA : A1838,480/2/10/9]