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Historical documents

66 Ball to Evatt

Cablegram Personal and Secret for the Minister 5 TOKYO, 13 August


1. Although today's Council Meeting was convened on Atcheson's
initiative to consider procedural questions exclusively Atcheson
surprised the Council by making the following proposal at the
beginning of the Meeting: 'General MacArthur and I propose that
the Council invite Representatives of those eleven Allied Powers
which waged the Pacific War and which now have Missions in Tokyo
to sit here with us informally and unofficially and contribute
their views. We would be glad to see our friend, the British
Ambassador, sitting at this table. We would be glad to see our
friend General Pechkoff the French Ambassador at the Council
table. We would be glad to have our friend General Schilling Head
of the Netherlands Military Mission here with us. We would be glad
if a Representative of the Philippines Government were to join in
our discussions. We would be happy to have all the Allied
Representatives concerned ma[k]e a valued contribution to our work
and to the furtherance of the occupation objecti[ve]s ... That he
(General MacArthur) seeks and welcomes advice and counsel of all
is in my opinion a reflection of great wisdom, profound insight
and far-seeing statesmanship with which he has handled the
2. The Chinese Member said that he would need time to consider. I
took the same line. The Russian Member claimed that such an
extension of the Council Membership, although informal, was in
fact inconsistent with the Council's terms of reference. The
proposal was therefore outside the Council's purview.

3. Atcheson then invited the Council to discuss procedural
questions. He had no recommendations to make but said that he
expected other members to make proposals since they had at the
last Meeting supported breach of procedural rules by Derevyanko.

The other three members had no proposals to offer and pointed out
that since Atcheson had taken initiative in raising procedural
issue they had expected him to table specific recommendations.

4. During discussion I said that I felt that the kind of
procedural rules appropriate would depend on the kind of business
likely to be sent before the Council. Atcheson replied that
Members should have easy notion of type of questions on which the
Supreme Commander would wish their advice. I replied that the
situation was not clear to me. For example I said that while the
Council had been asked its advice some weeks ago on comparatively
minor fishing problem, that is, whether there should be an
extension of the home fishing area, it was not consulted about the
much more important question-whether the Japanese should be
granted the right to resume whaling in the Antarctic. Atcheson
replied that resumption of whaling was a matter of 'compelling
urgency'. He showed resentment at my comments.

5. The general atmosphere of the Meeting was unhappy. The Chinese
and Russian members clearly expressed their impatience with
Atcheson's tactics.

6. My own view is that this morning's meeting brings the Council's
difficulties to a head. If S.C.A.P.'s proposal to enlarge the
Council membership to eleven were to be adopted it would make my
British Commonwealth Representation completely unreal, since
Atcheson would welcome any differences between the British
Ambassador and myself.

7. I am sure that you would not wish me to continue as Council
Member if this proposal were adopted.

8. I feel that the situation which has developed can only be dealt
with at the highest level and that the conditions under which the
Council works should be most carefully reviewed. Major weaknesses
of the Council are:-

(a) hostility and suspicion between the United States and Russia.

(b) MacArthur's unwillingness to consult the Council on most major
occupation problems.

(c) Atcheson's eagerness to assail as an expression of Allied
hostility any comment in the Council which might be construed as a
criticism of any aspect of MacArthur's work.

9. May I suggest that this telegram be considered in relation to
my telegrams secret and personal for the Minister numbers 3 and 4.

MacArthur's attitude towards the Council its continuance will
merely, serve to promote discord among Allied Powers.'

[AA:A1838/2, 482/7, i]

1 Documents 34 and 41.

2 In cablegram 280 dispatched 17 August, Addison outlined why the
U.K. Geer found the proposal unacceptable, the main reason being
that it would be contrary to the provisions of the Moscow
Agreement to allow participation in the discussions of the Allied
Council for Japan by representatives of nations not specified in
paragraph 2 of that agreement.

[1] 10. I believe that unless there is a marked change in
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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