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Historical documents

327 Burton to Shaw

Memorandum 84 CANBERRA, 5 March 1948



I refer to your Ministerial Despatches No. 5 of 12th December,
1947 [1], and No. 1 of 13th January, 1948 [2], in which you draw
our attention to the work of the Allied Council and the
difficulties inherent in the constitution of that body.

2. We have been disturbed at the recent deterioration in the
activities of the Council, particularly as the presentation of
topics by S.C.A.P. in October and November led us to hope that the
Council could continue to be a useful forum for discussion of
occupation policy.

3. We are fully aware of the difficulties which confront the
Supreme Commander, but we feel that the Council could perform a
useful function within the scope of its terms of reference and
that if properly used it could be a channel for helpful,
independent advice and would in turn stimulate the administration
and assist in the effective implementation of Allied policy.

4. Part 3 of your Despatch No. 5 adequately covers the relevant
considerations and we would suggest that Mr. Sebald's offer 'to
make a go' of the Council be taken up. In connection with Mr.

Sebald's request for our views on the work of the Council, we have
in mind that such topics as the following might form a useful
basis for further S.C.A.P. reports: information on food production
and distribution; the progress of rural land reform; the
dissolution of the Zaibatsu and other economic reforms, and the
progress of educational reform. The Council might also be
consulted by S.C.A.P. on policies contemplated for the
establishment of an exchange rate, the conduct of trade and
similar questions.

5. We should be glad if you would discuss this matter with Mr.

Sebald and request his help in maintaining the positive aspects of
the Council's work, at the same time you should take the
opportunity of indicating to S.C.A.P. that we are genuinely
appreciative of the many and varied reports he has presented from
time to time for the Council's information.

1 Volume 12, Document 498.

2 Document 325.

[AA:A1838/278, 492/2, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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