146 Department of External Affairs to Legation in Washington

Cablegram 475 CANBERRA, 27 March 1946

Your F.E.C. Nos. 29 and 34. [1] Japanese Constitution.

We fully support Eggleston's attitude. Our policy is that we confine ourselves to insistence on a democratic system which can evolve its new constitution for itself. F.E.C. remains the final authority and can disapprove of any Constitution adopted by the Diet which is not in conformity with a democratic system. In the meantime we consider that F.E.C. should send S.C.A.P. a directive setting out the principles which should govern the achievement of a democratic Constitution in Japan.

1 Dispatched 14 and 16 March respectively. The first reported general agreement that the F.E.C. was the final authority on the Japanese constitution, and Eggleston's motion that MacArthur be directed to inform the Japanese people that 'his approval of present draft constitution did not mean that no other suggestions would be considered and that Allies expected full and frank discussion in Japan'. The second reported consideration in sub- commitee of whether the F.E.C. should comment before or after drafts had been submitted to the Diet, and the F.E.C. view that the framing and adoption of a new constitution should not be rushed.

[AA:A3196, 1946, 0.5996]