451 Addison to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram D2223 LONDON, 13 December 1945

TOP SECRET IMMEDIATE

Your telegram 6th December 443. [1] Korea. Grateful for your observations.

Meanwhile, as stated in my telegram 12th December D 2218 [2], the United States Secretary of State has proposed that among items for discussion at the forthcoming Moscow meeting should be the establishment of an independent Government for Korea. Mr Byrnes has informed the Foreign Secretary that if this is not considered acceptable, the United States Government would favour a trusteeship under the United Nations for a limited period of time, similar to that suggested by the United States Government for Italian Colonies (my telegram 14th September D 1708 [3]).

2. Our preliminary view is that Korea is not yet ready for complete independence and that no competent native administration is likely to be possible for several years. We should not however, feel justified in opposing the United States proposal for immediate establishment of an independent Korean Government if we found that the Soviet Union agreed. On the other hand we should be prepared to accept the alternative United States proposal for a United Nations Trusteeship for Korea. In that event if the United States and Soviet Governments insisted on limitation of Trusteeship body to four members we should be prepared, if His Majesty's Government in Commonwealth of Australia agreed, to propose that fourth member besides United States, U.S.S.R. and China, should be Australia rather than the United Kingdom.

3. Should be glad to learn urgently whether the Commonwealth Government concur.

4. This telegram is being repeated to His Majesty's United Kingdom Ambassador Washington, with a request to give a copy to Dr. Evatt.

1 Document 434.

2 On file AA : A1066, H45/1016/5/2.

3 On file AA :A1066, P45/153/8.

[AA : A1066, H45/771/3]