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338 Shaw to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 502 TOKYO, 11 September 1948, 11.30 a.m.


My telegram 495 paragraph 6.

1. I had interview with General MacArthur on the evening of
September 9th at which I broached the subject of Allied Council
discussion on the Japanese Public Service. The Supreme Commander
was moderate in his remarks and manner. He indicated by inference
that the Japanese Government might have been inaccurate in their
interpretation of his letter of July 22nd. [1] He said that he was
open-minded about aspects of the Public Service Law and that when
the Japanese Government produced a draft he would send it to the
State Department with a view to discussion in the Far Eastern

2. However, General MacArthur expressed lengthy objection to the
presentation of my views at the Allied Council. He said that the
world was on the verge of war in which the Anglo Saxon countries
would be aligned against the Russians and it was wrong for us to
air publicly any difference of opinion. He stressed the use which
newspapers, propagandists and also the foreign press made of my
remarks. What he called Australian support for the Russians on the
Allied Council had resulted in a deterioration in American-
Australian relations since the war.

3. I pointed out to S.C.A.P. that prior to the Council meeting I
and also members of the staff of the United Kingdom Liaison
Mission had endeavoured to convey our ideas to members of his
General Headquarters Staff. These ideas were honestly held and we
had meant to be helpful, but there was little indication in
General Headquarters Government section statement of August 25th
[2], that even S.C.A.P's own views were being pressed on the
Japanese. My statement in Council was framed as I thought
inoffensively and I purposely confined myself to a limited topic
on which the Russians could say nothing.

4. General MacArthur expanded on the danger of Communist
Leadership in the inexperienced Japanese trade union movement. On
the question of workers in Government enterprises he said that he
would insist that Japanese Government recognise the distinction
made in his letter. He explained the difficulties in raising civil
service pay while maintaining a balanced budget. [3]

5. Full report by bag. See despatch 195.

From April 1948 onwards few agendas were furnished for meetings of
the Council so little business eventuated. The Council was
terminated on 28 April 1952 when the peace treaty came into force.

1 See Document 332.

2 Presumably a statement made on 24 August 1948 which failed to
distinguish between administrative public servants and employees
of government enterprises.

3 The issue was not considered in the Council. Subsequently an
attempt was made to raise the matter in the Far Eastern
Commission; see Document 319.

[AA:A1838/278, 478/2/5, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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