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Historical documents

385 Plimsoll [1] to Burton

Cablegram 33 (extract) WASHINGTON, 9 January 1948, 10 p.m.


Following is the substance of conversation today with Butterworth,
Chief of Office of Far Eastern Affairs, U.S.A. State Department.

1. Butterworth said 3 alternatives were open at present for
Japanese Settlement,
(A) Council of Foreign Ministers or some variant as suggested by
(B) Meeting of 10 nations without Russia
(C) No peace treaty for the time being, with present arrangements
continuing with some adaptations to achieve some of the purposes
set by peace treaty, such adaptation could include-
(i) Reduction in size and redistribution of occupation forces,
(ii) Transfer of responsibility to Japanese Government, with SCAP
exercising more supervision rather than giving directions, and
(iii) An increase in proportion of civilians used in SCAR This
would not involve any change in terms of reference of FEC.

Butterworth said that it was extremely unlikely that General
Marshall would make decision on any of the foregoing or on calling
of Peace Conference without further consultation with General
MacArthur. (It would therefore seem desirable to see that
MacArthur is kept informed of our position.)
2. I gained the impression that United States of America would not
at present accept second alternative, namely conference without
Russia. Butterworth pointed out strange position of Russia for
bringing pressure on Post-Treaty Japan through economic power
(along the lines of paragraph 4 of my 1631 of 12th. December).

Moreover if other 10 powers drafted a Treaty, Russia could then
step in and offer easier terms, and thus improve her position in
the eyes of the Japanese. He said he did not consider it
impossible to obtain Chinese agreement to a ten-power Conference,
but thought it would be very difficult to secure at present. China
had obtained definite concessions under Sino-[Soviet] Treaty [2],
in particular recognition of Chiang-Kai Shek as legitimate
Government of China and recognition of Manchuria as an integral
part of China. He thought China would regard recognition by the
Soviet group of the Rebel Government in Greece, as a warning of
what would happen in China if China went ahead without Russia. He
said China had not attempted to use its stand on the veto as a
bargaining point in obtaining more military and economic aid from
U.S.A., nor had U.S.A. bargained on this point. I also gained...


Not likely to make any decision on Peace Conference in the
immediate future. I reiterated to Butterworth that Australia
considered it essential that Australia should participate in all
Peace talks and should have equal role and full status with any
other power.

1 James Plimsoll, First Secretary, Australian Permanent Mission to
the United Nations.

2 In the cited copy the word Japanese' appears instead of
'Soviet'. The Treaty of Friendship and Alliance Between the
Republic of China and the USSR, and associated protocols, was
signed on 14 August 1945.

3 A note in the text here indicates '3 groups out'.

[AA:A1838/278, 539/2, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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