Skip to main content

Historical documents

28 Cablegram From Makin to Spender

Cablegram, Washington, 9 December 1950


Pacific Pact.

Allison, Director of the State Department Office of North East Asian Affairs, yesterday told McNicol on a strictly personal and confidential basis, that there was now considerably more support in the State Department for a Pacific Island pact which would insure Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines against Japanese aggression and also guarantee Japan against Soviet aggression. Although Allison did not elaborate on Japan's role in such a pact, he gave the impression that Japan would be included in some fashion, and remarked that the Japanese were the most reliable people in Asia and that Japan's industry and manpower was the prize which the Soviet was seeking. Allison said that Dulles had come round to the support of a Pacific Pact. He emphasised that the question of a Pacific Pact had not yet been taken up at Secretary of State level, that it would require 'a lot of working out', and that 'something might or might not come out of it'.

2. Allison also said that the Department was most concerned about Japan, and that Dulles and he were at present devoting most of their time to consideration of a Japanese Peace settlement.

3. You are aware that Allison has for the past 18 months been an advocate of a Pacific Pact in the context of a Japanese Peace Treaty, and I thought you would wish to know that consideration was being given to this matter at the Dulles-Allison level.

On 10 January Truman designated Dulles as Special Representative of the President with the personal rank of Ambassador 'to conduct, on behalf of the United States, such further discussions and negotiations as may be necessary to bring a Japanese peace settlement to an eventual successful conclusion'. Truman also instructed Dulles as regards potential defence arrangements in the Pacific area.

The most relevant portion of Truman's letter of appointment to Dulles reads: 'You should also, in carrying out your discussions, have in mind that it is the policy of the United States Government that the United States will commit substantial armed force to the defense of the island chain of which Japan forms a part, that it desires that Japan should increasingly acquire the ability to defend itself, and that, in order further to implement this policy, the United States Government is willing to make a mutual assistance arrangement among the Pacific island nations (Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Japan, the United States, and perhaps Indonesia) which would have the dual purpose of assuring combined action as between the members to resist aggression from without and also to resist attack by one of the members, e.g. Japan, if Japan should again become aggressive. In connection with this latter point, the United States Government should agree to this course of action only as the other nations accept the general basis on which the United States is prepared to conclude a peace settlement with Japan'.[1]

1 Foreign Relations of the United States, 1951, vol. VI, part 1, Washington, 1977, p. 137.

[NAA : A6768, EATS 77, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top