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Historical documents

377 Evatt to Eggleston

Cablegram 2077 CANBERRA, 19 December 1944


1. As one means of furthering Australia - New Zealand objective of
participation in Pacific Armistice planning and controls and in
the direction of Pacific Affairs as a whole [1], use could be made
of Pacific War Council. When we obtained establishment of Pacific
War Council in 1942 the urgent matters were Pacific strategy and
our own pressing need of supply. Since the main lines of the war
against Japan were determined the Council has seldom met and owing
mainly to inactivity on the part of its members at Washington has
ceased to provide a means of discussion on the highest level.

2. Pacific situation is now raising a new set of problems of great
complexity, solution of which will necessitate continuous
consultation between all Governments with interests in the region.

Pacific War Council might become a valuable forum for this

3. We should endeavour now to obtain regular meetings of the
council for general purposes of consultation and advice to
Governments concerned in regard to all Pacific war matters
including Armistice and post-hostilities matters.

4. For your personal information I would envisage as a possible
outcome of this consultation agreed surrender instruments for
Japan and Thailand, and the setting up of executive machinery for
control in Japan and Thailand. Other questions might include
inter-governmental machinery for political supervision of the
execution of armistices and for co-ordination of activities
connected with rehabilitation of reoccupied territories. Council
might later advise on international interests in such matters as
future of Thailand, interim government of Korea, place of Indo-
China in a security system and regional organisation in Southeast
Asia. On these lines it could well be developed into a useful
organ for preliminary inter-governmental consideration of all
Pacific settlement problems.

5. I would like you therefore to consult with Berendsen and convey
either jointly or separately to the President the desire of our
Governments that meetings of the Council shall be resumed as soon
as possible.

6. The Council is still a body in being. Partly through its agency
I obtained in 1942 and 1943 valuable supplies for Australia
especially of aircraft. For that I am most grateful to the

7. I notice press report here suggesting that you intimated that
you had no instructions on the matter of Pacific Council. I cannot
believe that you would speak on such a matter, particularly in
view of hostile attitude to this Government of certain Australian
Press controllers who are represented at Washington.

8. Great tact and care are required, but a courteous and formal
request to the President for regular meetings of the Council would
quite possibly be successful. Please take necessary action.


1 See Document 337.

[AA:A989, 44/655/36]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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