341 Saltzman to Makin

Note (extract) WASHINGTON, 8 July 1948


The Government of the United States notes that the proposed reduction of the Australian contingent would leave a token British Commonwealth Force which would be inadequate for the occupation of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force Area. This area comprises 20,000 square miles and contains a Japanese population of over 10,000,000 persons. The proposed reduction would necessitate redeployment of United States forces now in Japan.

It is appreciated that the MacArthur-Northcott Agreement provides that the British Commonwealth Occupation Force may be withdrawn, wholly or in part, upon agreement between the United States and Australian Governments or upon six months' notice by either party.

However, in view of the fact that the United States is unable to provide additional troops to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan to take over the occupation of the British Commonwealth Occupation Area, it is requested that the Australian Government give favorable consideration to maintaining in Japan a British Commonwealth Force equivalent to one United States Infantry Division (less one Regimental Combat Team) plus necessary service troops, at least until such time as it may be determined that a substantial reduction may be made in the occupation forces.

[AA:A1838/283, 481/1, iii]