Skip to main content

Historical documents

320 Evatt to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 395 CANBERRA, 25 July 1949, 5 p.m.


Your 478 (F.E.C. 99).

Japanese labour legislation.

United States Embassy here has presented aide-memoire on the
subject of the Australian resolution [1], which the United States
Government understands you intend to press to a vote in the full
Commission on 28th July. United States Government I earnestly
hopes that the Australian Government will see its way clear to
withdraw the resolution or at least to hold in abeyance any action
to bring the resolution to vote'.

The aide-memoire repeats some of the familiar arguments hitherto
used, but lays special stress on the undesirable effect that would
be created if the resolution were to be voted on and vetoed by the
United States at this juncture, when the occupation authorities
are seriously embarrassed by labour unrest arising from mass lay-
offs of surplus workers. Copy of aide-memoire is being sent by

We have told United States Embassy that we were not aware that you
were pressing for a vote this week, and that in the circumstances,
while we are not prepared to surrender the principle that
worker[s] in Japanese Government enterprises (outside the Civil
Service) should not be prohibited by law from striking, we shall
not insist on a vote at this time.

You should be guided accordingly. In view of reports from Tokyo
regarding the present Japanese labour situation, there is probably
substance in the United States claim that a vote on our resolution
would have undesirable repercussions in Japan without gaining our
own objective. Without withdrawing resolution you should therefore
postpone any action on it for the time being. [2]

Following the signing of the Treaty of Peace on 8 September 1951,
the Far Eastern Commission adjourned on 21 September 1951 and was
never reconvened.

1 See Document 319.

2 Australia did not press in, a vote and the matter remained
permanently on the agenda of the Commission.

[AA:A1838/278, 478/2/5, iii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top