327 Burton to Shaw

Memorandum 84 CANBERRA, 5 March 1948



I refer to your Ministerial Despatches No. 5 of 12th December, 1947 [1], and No. 1 of 13th January, 1948 [2], in which you draw our attention to the work of the Allied Council and the difficulties inherent in the constitution of that body.

2. We have been disturbed at the recent deterioration in the activities of the Council, particularly as the presentation of topics by S.C.A.P. in October and November led us to hope that the Council could continue to be a useful forum for discussion of occupation policy.

3. We are fully aware of the difficulties which confront the Supreme Commander, but we feel that the Council could perform a useful function within the scope of its terms of reference and that if properly used it could be a channel for helpful, independent advice and would in turn stimulate the administration and assist in the effective implementation of Allied policy.

4. Part 3 of your Despatch No. 5 adequately covers the relevant considerations and we would suggest that Mr. Sebald's offer 'to make a go' of the Council be taken up. In connection with Mr.

Sebald's request for our views on the work of the Council, we have in mind that such topics as the following might form a useful basis for further S.C.A.P. reports: information on food production and distribution; the progress of rural land reform; the dissolution of the Zaibatsu and other economic reforms, and the progress of educational reform. The Council might also be consulted by S.C.A.P. on policies contemplated for the establishment of an exchange rate, the conduct of trade and similar questions.

5. We should be glad if you would discuss this matter with Mr.

Sebald and request his help in maintaining the positive aspects of the Council's work, at the same time you should take the opportunity of indicating to S.C.A.P. that we are genuinely appreciative of the many and varied reports he has presented from time to time for the Council's information.

1 Volume 12, Document 498.

2 Document 325.

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