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Historical documents

386 Burton to Watt

Cablegram 11 CANBERRA, 16 January 1948

SECRET

Minister has been giving consideration to taking initiative in
securing Japanese Settlement in the light of complete United
States-United Kingdom failure to achieve results. Minister has
considered approaching Soviet on basis of assurance that
territorial arrangements made during the war by Big Three will not
be upset, which was the agreed opinion of the British Commonwealth
Conference at Canberra. [1] It would seem to us that this would
make voting procedures relatively unimportant, if there were no
other major issues over which Russia might fear being out-voted.

There is no great urgency in taking action, but if opportunity
arises with Vyshinsky or elsewhere, you might ascertain whether
there are any other issues outside territorial arrangements in
which voting procedures might become important. It should be
emphasised always that ultimate agreement of all nations concerned
is necessary, as all have to sign the peace treaty. It might be
possible to obtain support for an eleven or twelve power
conference with the understanding that territorial decisions
already taken would not be challenged and that final voting
procedure would require the concurrence of all eleven countries.

1 On opinions agreed at the Canberra Conference, see Volume 12,
Document 363.


[AA:A1838/283, 69/1/3, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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