208 Addison to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram 316 LONDON, 20 August 1945, 8.35 p.m.

IMMEDIATE TOP SECRET

Your telegram 240 of 17th August. [1] JAPAN We appreciate Australian readiness to contribute to the execution of the Surrender terms.

2. The question of the occupation of Japan is under careful consideration. We are examining your proposals and will reply separately as soon as possible.

3. Re-occupation of Hong Kong. We note that you will not be able to send a brigade to Hong Kong and in the circumstances we are making other arrangements. We welcome your offer of minesweepers.

4. Re-occupation of Borneo and territories to the east thereof. We are grateful for your acceptance of the initial responsibility. We assume that you will remain responsible throughout for Papua and the Australian mandated territories. It is our intention to make available as soon as possible British and Dutch forces from the South East Asia Command to relieve your forces in the other territories concerned. Your initial responsibility, therefore, would cover the period until these forces arrive.

5. Shipping. The Chiefs of Staff are examining with the Ministry of War Transport the question of supplying the shipping required by you. We consider L.C.T. unsatisfactory owing to their limited range and difficulties of maintenance. We suggest that we should send you L.S.T. to provide an equivalent lift. [2]

6. Re-occupation of Singapore. We gladly accept your proposal that a parachute battalion should participate in the occupation of Singapore. We are informing Admiral Mountbatten accordingly and instructing him to discuss with you the question of the movement of the battalion. You should note, however, that his present plans provide for the initial occupation of Singapore by about 28th August.

7. We share your wish that the highest practicable priority should be accorded to the return of prisoners and internees in Japan and Japanese occupied territory and are urgently examining what measures will be necessary.

8. We are sorry to read in your telegram that you feel that Australia's effort has not been sufficiently recognised in the armistice arrangements. We have for our part as you know done our best to secure the greatest possible recognition of Australia's special position and her maximum participation in these arrangements. But the matter is not entirely or even primarily one for us alone and it is impossible for us to go beyond what we can persuade our American and other major Allies to accept.

1 Document 194.

2 The point concerned Landing Craft Tank and Landing Ship Tank i.e. amphibious assault vessels of different size and capacity designed to carry armoured vehicles and other heavy equipment.

[AA : A1066, P45/10/1/2]