489 Ball to Chifley

Cablegram unnumbered TOKYO, 2 August 1947, 11.10 p.m.


that I would be needed at the Canberra Conference in August. I told people here that I would be attending and since travel arrangements are now being made here for those going to Canberra I cannot conceal the fact that I shall not be attending for more than another few days.

2. Since I understand Dr. Evatt has telegraphed you at some length about the position here, may I summarise the course of events which have made me withdraw from this work.

3. Until Dr. Evatt's first talk with MacArthur, he had been instructing me to follow a line here which might be described as a policy protest at MacArthur's unilateral acts. At Kure last Friday Dr. Evatt warmly applauded a stand I had taken at the Allied Council meeting and urged me in [1] here to be vigorous and expedient in putting Australia's independent line.

4. Then Evatt had a long talk with MacArthur last Sunday. This appeared to produce a marked and sudden change in his outlook and policy.

5. Dr. Evatt now appeared to wish to dissociate himself from me in his relations with the Americans. For example, he omitted me from the Australian officials he invited to attend a party he gave to American officers and from the group of Australians he took with him to the correspondents' lunch address.

6. At this party on arrival Evatt began to tell the people in private conversation that he was 'deeply disturbed at the anti- American attitude of the Australian mission'. This was reliably reported back to me. He told me that he thought that I had 'needled' Atcheson at Council meetings in a way that provoked Atcheson's sharp retorts to me. I think that the complete answer to this is to verbatim minutes of Council meetings and in my telegram 25 for the Minister from MacMahon Ball despatched 23rd October, 1946, paragraph 5. [2]

7. Without consulting me Dr. Evatt suggested to Robertson that he should replace me during a considerable absence. This was duly reported to the press.

8. Dr. Evatt has made an arrangement with one of MacArthur's senior officers to send him through non-Departmental channels confidential reports on what happens in Tokyo. I assume that these reports were to govern my own activities here.

9. When I mentioned to Dr. Evatt at [3] he told me that he considered that I had been disobedient and disloyal in my work [4] preoccupied with personal ambition and I have shrunk from my duty to the Government and Australia.

10. It was in these circumstances that I telegraphed that I could not continue to work under Dr. Evatt.

1 A sign here indicates 'mutilated'.

2 In this cablegram Ball explained that he had approached Atcheson on several occasions in an attempt to improve their working relationship but that Atcheson had ignored his overtures.

3 A sign here indicates 'mutilated'.

4 A sign here indicates 'mutilated'.

[AA : A1068, X337]