13 Dixon to Department of External Affairs
Cablegram 32 WASHINGTON, 13 January 1944, 1.32 a.m.
A meeting of the Pacific War Council was held January 12th. There
The President. 
Ronald Campbell , Great Britain.
Leighton McCarthy , Canada.
Walter Nash, New Zealand.
Owen Dixon, Australia.
Osmena , Philippines.
Loudon , Netherlands.
Wei Taoming , China.
The President opened by remarking on the length of time since the
last meeting, saying that he had in the meantime travelled a good
deal, and that he considered the Pacific War was going pretty
well. He said that he saw no reason why the Pacific War Council
should not take part in the discussion of the question-what should
be done after the War about strategical bases and other places in
He said that as we all knew he had seen Chiang Kai Shek first, and
afterwards Stalin.  The latter had offered no objections
whatsoever to what they had done at Cairo. He wanted no territory
in Asia, but considered that they were quite right in the plan
made at Cairo with reference to the restoration of territory to
China. He made no criticism of the idea of a Korean trusteeship.
He raised only one thing, namely, that Russia and the whole of
Siberia had no completely ice-free port. He, President Roosevelt,
had said in answer that there was only one place for it, namely,
Dairen or Port Arthur. Stalin asked whether he had thought about
it and he said 'Yes he had talked of it to Chiang Kai Shek', that
he had proposed to the latter that Dairen should be a free port,
free for the commerce of all the world. The railway to it belonged
to Manchukuo and automatically the railway would come under China.
But all that would be necessary would be to arrange that all
commerce should go over the railway to and from Siberia in bond,
so to speak.
Stalin said that was a very interesting suggestion and it appeared
that it might solve the problem.
He, President Roosevelt, had mentioned to Stalin that the Russians
should have the Kurile Islands so as to make the trade going in
and out secure from a military point of view. They had talked in
Cairo with Chiang Kai Shek about other islands, but nothing had
been settled. He could see no reason why the Pacific War Council
should not talk about them too.
Chiang Kai Shek had pointed out that the Bonin Islands and the
Luchu Islands  had originally been a part of China. Indeed,
China had once appointed the King to the latter. They were not
worth much except for military purposes and that to Japan. He, the
President, saw no reason why the civil administration should not
revert to China. if the United Nations considered that it was
important to have what he might call a policeman there, and it was
felt that China was not yet ready with planes and guns to play
that part, then he understood Chiang Kai Shek would have no
objection to that part being played by someone else under the
Then there are hundreds and hundreds of Islands mandated to Japan
which must be taken away from them. That raised the problem of how
they should be administered. Chiang Kai Shek and he were inclined
to think, although there was nothing final in their views, that a
United Nations body could be set up to administer them. He had in
mind the Marshalls, Marianas, and the Carolines. It was clear that
if anyone took them over it would be an out of pocket thing. They
must be administered for the good of the islanders and they were
of various races. For example, he understood the inhabitants of
Guam were entirely different from those of the Marianas Islands.
It would be an experiment if they were taken over by no single
nation, but were turned over to the United Nations as a body. But
when it came to the military end, it would be difficult to know
what in the future would be the important places. For instance,
Guam has a bad harbour but for aerial war it might be very
The United States of America would be glad to act as what might be
called a 'police agent' in cases where another country, for
instance, the Chinese, were not ready for that part. How we should
manage the policing of the world in relation to these Islands is a
question we should all be thinking of. one thing suggested is to
invent a new kind of sovereignty, the sovereignty of the United
South of the Equator, the islands fall really into three areas,
the Northern Islands, the Mandated Islands South, and the Dutch
area. It is not a homogeneous arrangement. It had grown up
fortuitously. Perhaps it would be possible to make some
arrangement in the allocation of those Islands.
Timor is another thing we should discuss. It is a thing which it
would be necessary for Churchill to talk about also in London.
Then there is the question-what we should do with the French
Islands. He, President Roosevelt, had said to Winston Churchill
that the French should not have New Caledonia back under any
conditions and that he believed that in this view Australia and
New Zealand would back him up. He had spoken only yesterday to
Admiral Halsey , who said whatever you do, do not give New
Caledonia back to the French. Its whole administration is a
disgrace. At present it is a big and important base. it could be
placed under the agency of Australia or New Zealand and Australia
might be joint agents for its development. It was. difficult to
say what word should be used. The word was not 'mandate', many of
the mandatories had considered the territories their own. Perhaps
the word 'agent' was the best.
He had sent Admiral Byrd  back to the Galapagos and the
Marquesas islands to examine their use in air routes. It looked as
if those Islands should be thrown open as international airports
of the world. Clipper ton Island is also French, and it might be
used on an air route going across Panama. He believed that, by and
large, air routes should be free to all the world with a
limitation against the use by aircraft foreign to any country of
its facilities to carry domestic traffic within that country. He
said he thought it was much the simplest way. Any airport in the
world ought, he thought, to be open for obtaining fuel and
supplies for the journey and for picking up and depositing
passengers. Leighton McCarthy interposed to say that he thought it
was the question of picking up that made it difficult and that,
for instance, the President would find that United States air
transport companies would object to Canadian aircraft picking up
passengers in the United States and taking them down, say, to
Mexico. But he was very pleased indeed to know that these were the
If the President thought fit to make them public, it would go far
to remove misapprehensions. The President said that Churchill knew
about them, though they had not been made public. He ought to add
that he could never get Congress to allow any United States
internal airline to be owned by external capital, for instance,
British capital, and he thought that this was right. In the same
way he learned from conversations in Brazil that the Brazilians
would not let a Brazilian internal airline be owned by Argentine
capital. Leighton McCarthy said that he believed that in the case
of Canada, control of Canadian internal airline systems would be
concentrated in a Government-owned Company-the Trans-Canadian.
The President said that Winston Churchill, Stalin and himself were
definitely determined that no aircraft should be made in Germany
and that the Germans should not teach aeronautics or the use of
gliders. They were very strong about that.
In answer to a question, the President said that the whole of
Sakhalin should go to Russia. He added that Salazar  was at
present making an awful noise about Portuguese Timor. He referred
again to the French possessions and said that on the Atlantic side
consideration must be given to Dakar and Cape Verde as strategic
points. There was also Madagascar. It was not intended that the
French Committee of National Liberation, or indeed any French
Committee should be told of any of these discussions or questions.
After all, it was not the French who were winning the War, and
decisions had to be made on what was best for the future.
1 President Roosevelt.
2 Sir Ronald I. Campbell, U.K. Minister to the United States.
3 Canadian Minister to the United States.
4 Vice-President of the Philippines.
5 Netherlands Ambassador to the United States.
6 Chinese Ambassador to the United States.
7 See Document 3, note 1.
8 Also known as the Ryukyu Islands.
9 Allied Commander, South Pacific Area.
10 Naval Aviation Adviser attached to Headquarters, Commander-in-
Chief, U.S. Fleet.
11 Portuguese Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and, until 6
September, War Minister.