319 Embassy in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 244 WASHINGTON, 15 March 1949, 4.52 p.m.

IMMEDIATE RESTRICTED

FEC 48.

Japanese Labour Situation.

Your telegram 160. [1]

We have discussed your suggested proposal with British Commonwealth colleagues who are pleased that some initiative is being taken in this problem.

However, mainly in attempt to reduce opportunity for United States to draw red herrings across the trail, after discussion with British Commonwealth colleagues we have tentatively re-drafted the proposal as follows-

'The FEC, bearing in mind that it is a matter for the occupation authorities in Japan to decide when strikes and other work stoppages should be prohibited as directly prejudicing the objectives or needs of the occupation, decides as a matter of policy that the provisions of FEC 045/5 apply to work[er]s in Japanese Government enterprises.'

While direct reference to Japanese Public Corporations Labour Relations Act would in many ways be desirable and give policy much more force and relevance, any existing Japanese legislation is strictly speaking not incidental to policy formation. Such reference gives the United States the opportunity to say we are dealing with implementation more properly belonging to ACJ [2], and virtually criticising in a policy decision what SCAP has already done.

While policy will of course be discussed in the context of the Japanese P.C.L.R. Act we feel, that for above reasons, it is wiser not to mention it specifically in the policy.

Insertion of words 'should be prohibited' brings wording more in line with paragraph 5 of FEC 045/5 and focuses attention on the central issue.

Substitution of word 'apply' for 'should be applied' makes proposal more clearly a clarifying policy.

Other re-arrangement is to satisfy personal idiosyncrasies of other British Commonwealth colleagues and are in view, immaterial.

It is important to get a proposal into the committee tomorrow, which will be before next FEC meeting, in order to forestall any further charges by Panyushkin that subject is being buried.

Therefore, subject to your views, we intend to present the re- drafted version. [3]

1 Dispatched 15 March 1949 it suggested that the following resolution be submitted to the Far Eastern Commission:

'The Far Eastern Commission has take. note of the provisions of Chapter IV of the Japanese Public Corporations Labour Relations Act adopted by the Japanese Diet on 12th December 1948 While recognising that it is a matter for the occupation authorities in Japan to determine when strikes and other work stoppages would directly prejudice the objectives or needs of the occupation, the Far Eastern Commission decides as a matter of policy that the provisions of FEC 045/5 should be applied to workers in Japanese Government enterprises as defined in the Public Corporations Labour Relations Act.' 2 Allied Council for Japan.

3 The redraft @as approved by the Department and the proposal submitted to Steering Committee. It was adopted on 31 May 1949 and forwarded to the full Commission.

[AA:A1838/278, 483/2, V]