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19 Cablegram From Australian Mission at the United Nations to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram, New York, 22 September 1950


Our 523.

Japanese peace settlement.

1. Recent talks with State Department officials and with British Commonwealth representatives on Far Eastern Commission led us to assess United States thinking as follows:

(A) State Department has strong doubts about need for or desirability of formal peace conference. In fact, the State Department official who has been closely connected with developments on the Treaty has informed us in confidence that United States does not envisage a formal peace conference which would discuss matters of substance with a view to negotiating a subsequent treaty. What State Department has in mind is a short treaty covering points mentioned in the United States document.[1] The Department hopes that all friendly countries would agree to 'no-conference' procedure and that the Treaty would be signed in Washington by representatives of the Allied powers (e.g. Ambassadors) and of the Japanese Government. Dulles remarks on 'so-called peace conference' (see Washington No. 842 of 19th September) are confirmation of the United States attitude as described above. (Mr. Spender can see no particular virtue in a formal peace conference provided the Treaty is satisfactory to us particularly on the matter of security.)
(B) Whilst the United States does not contemplate a treaty in the very near future their thinking is becoming more urgent. Some analogy may be drawn from recent steps taken by the United States with regard to Germany.

(C) At the same time as signature of the Treaty United States would sign a separate agreement with Japan providing for retention of United States forces in Japan and setting forth in some detail provisions regarding mobility of United States forces in Japan where they would be stationed and their functions in time of peace and war. State Department officials have mentioned possibility that United States might wish other countries to be associated with them in this agreement and to provide forces for use in Japan under the agreement. In this connection, there have been hints that the United States might wish Australia to be associated in the agreement (Dulles referred to this possibility in his talk with Minister and asked whether the presence of Australian troops in Japan would be sufficient guarantee of Australian security, Minister replied in the negative).

[matter omitted]

1 See Document 18.

[NAA : A1838, 532/11, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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