390 Embassy in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 472 WASHINGTON, 27 May 1949, 6.14 p.m.




Allison, Deputy Director, Office of F[ar] Eastern Affairs, asked us informally today whether Australia still held to the view that preliminary talks on a Peace Treaty should not be held exclusively by C.F.M. [1] We referred him to Mr. Dedman's latest statement.

[2] Allison said that State Department was anxious to respect the views of Australia in this matter. State Department was still trying to make up its mind what its attitude should be if Vishinsky persisted in requesting a meeting of C.F.M., with China, to discuss Japanese Peace Treaty. There were many different ideas circulating in State Department but the more popular and the one which he personally thought had most merit was as fol1ows. Since it might be a mistake merely to 'choke the U.S.S.R. off' when they were showing a great desire to discuss Japan, the United States should agree to a meeting and then insist that the first item on the Agenda be the question of the other interested Nations participating.

Allison intimated, however, that while United States still had an open mind about the advantages to be gained from a Peace Treaty with Japan they would approach a Peace Conference with extreme caution because they were worried about the power vacuum which would exist if a Peace Treaty should mean a total withdrawal by United States from Japan.

1 i.e. Council of Foreign Ministers.

2 Following a suggestion by the Soviet representative at a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers on 23 May 1949 that the Japanese peace treaty be placed on the agenda, Dedman bad stated that Australia would insist on participating in die peace talks from the beginning.

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