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168 Embassy in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 1430 WASHINGTON, 16 October 1946, 8.32 p.m.



Our No. 1385. [1]


The following is a summary of an aide-memoire just received from
the State Department.

The United States Government has considered carefully and
sympathetically the Australian Ambassador's aide-memoire of 5th
October and has asked General MacArthur for his further comments
on the Australian request that the Allied Governments supply
entire crews for the proposed expedition. The Supreme Commander
has now replied that it would be entirely impracticable to
endeavour to arrange accommodations for Allied crews or to utilise
such crews on the forthcoming expedition. Reconditioning of the
vessels would not only be economically unsound but would probably
cause such delay as to render the expedition impossible. The
Supreme Commander believes that the most serious difficulty in
carrying out the Australian proposal would be in attempting to
control and operate the expedition with crews of mixed
nationalities, owing to divided responsibility, conflicting
shipping laws, and problems of housing and feeding crews pending
sailing and of ensuring uniform pay, rations and equipment. The
Supreme Commander could not accept the responsibility for control
of mixed Allied crews and does not believe that the proposal could
be carried into practical effect. The Supreme Commander would,
however, heartily welcome additional Allied inspectors should any
nation concerned wish to offer them. Meagre quarters will allow
only three Allied personnel to each factory ship, but two of these
could be Allied inspectors with the third an inspector from
S.C.A.P. Headquarters. Accommodations and meals will be
substandard and considerable hardship can be expected. The Supreme
Commander desires to know as early as possible if any nations
concerned desire to appoint inspectors together with the date when
they will report to the Fisheries Division, Natural Resources
Section of S.C.A.P. Headquarters. It is understood that foreign
Governments concerned will pay salaries and provide equipment and
rations of such inspectors. As equality of pay is believed
advisable the Supreme Commander wishes to be notified as soon as
possible of any inspector's contemplated salary.

The aide-memoire repeats that the expedition is an emergency one
for one season only and is under complete control of the Supreme
Commander who has expressed opinion that it should be considered
an Allied expedition. It will not fly the Japanese flag but
special SCAJAP pennant, which is flown by all ships operating
under the Supreme Commander's control throughout the Pacific and
under the direction of Rear Admiral Momsen [2], and which is
described in detail (see FEC.247 of 5th October). The United
States Government confirms the previous statement that the
question whether the Japanese shall or shall not have a whaling
industry in the future is one for Allied consultation and
decision. The same applies to the ultimate disposition of all
Japanese whaling equipment and facilities. The United States
Government, noting that the Australian Government states it cannot
agree to any recognition of Japanese whaling rights, believes that
the proper forum for discussion of future Japanese whaling rights
is the Far Eastern Commission 'where the whole question can be
discussed at length with a view to the establishment of a definite
policy acceptable to all'.

The aide-memoire concludes:

'In view of the above considerations the United States Government
regrets that it cannot accede to the Australian Government request
that the entire crew of the forthcoming expedition be composed of
nationals of Allied countries.'

Full text by airmail.

1 Document 156.

2 Rear Admiral Charles B. Momsen, U.S. Navy.

[AA:A1067, P46/10/10/3/1, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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