305 McIntosh [1] to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 97 (extract) WELLINGTON, 21 May 1948, 6.35 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Reference your numbers 74, 75 [2] and 108 [3] to Minister of External Affairs, Wellington.

JAPANESE REPARATIONS

There is no possibility of having problem examined by Minister before the weekend and it may be some days before matter can be brought to Prime Minister's notice. However following is Departmental view.

We are in agreement with sentiments expressed in paragraph 1 of Australian telegram No. 74 (No. 99 to Secretary of State No.376 to Australian Embassy Washington) and should welcome early presentation of Australian proposal to Far Eastern Commission.

Although we foresee difficulties in securing adoption of so comprehensive a plan no feature would seem to us to present an insuperable obstacle if other Far Eastern Commission countries could be induced to reach agreement on basis of that proposal. Our major interest in the question is, we believe, similar to that of Australia in that we place special emphasis on the need to remove industrial war potential from Japan as soon as possible. We would endeavour to adjust our attitude on related matters accordingly.

1 Conveyed through the High Commissioner's Office, Wellington.

2 Documents 301 and 302 respectively.

3 Dispatched to May 1948 it asked for urgent reply to previous cablegrams.

[AA:A1838/2, 479/10, V]