201 Ball to Evatt

Cablegram [Secret and Personal for the Minister [1]] TOKYO, 20


Following my report on 19th April, Council meeting A.C.J.4 [2], may I make some personal reflections on developments of the situation here. I feel that my primary problem as B.C.O.M. [3] member of the Council is to find a way in which I can continue to give expression to the fundamental unity of interests between the United States and B.C.O.M. and at the same time maintain the proper position and dignity of the Council.

I recognize the importance of avoiding any statement or action which might be interpreted as an impairment of B.C.O.M.-United States unity. I assume that B.C.O.M. should be reluctant to take any action which might suggest failure to recognize the major part played by the United States in the defeat of Japan. Since Japan is only one section of the world and if the United States co-operates fully with B.C.O.M. on other major international questions, it might be decided that B.C.O.M. should in return refrain from any statement which might be construed as critical of SCAP's conduct of occupation even when our judgement dissents from his rulings.

Yet every happening here since my arrival points practically in one direction-the determination of SCAP to ignore the Council's terms of reference [4] and give it an extremely subordinate place in the Allied Organisation in Japan. The conduct of SCAP representatives at the Council meetings has appeared to be directed towards making the Council the object of ridicule and contempt.

To any one not himself present at these meetings it would be hard to convey a full impression of the ill mannered arrogance of General Whitney who has taken part in two meetings as SCAP representative.

General Whitney has been requested to attend by General Marquat, Deputy Chairman for SCAP. It is difficult to know if SCAP policy is due to hostility towards the Council as such or to what appears to be a fanatic hostility to the Russian member. in whatever proportions these emotions may be blended the result is the same :

direct affront to the position and intelligence of members of the Council; an explicit denial of powers which the terms of reference give to the Council. Perhaps more serious in the long view than the immediate effect of this on the future work of the Council is the effect it may have on the four powers represented.

At the first three meetings of the Council, the Russian member has behaved with unbroken courtesy, dignity and restraint. SCAP [representatives have taken the offensive against] [5] him without provocation. One unfortunate result of this is that I have several times been forced to support the Russian member because I wanted to support the U.S.S.R. but to preserve the dignity of the Council. If meetings of the Council are continued in the very happy atmosphere of the opening sessions they will tend to foment ill will rather than co-operation between SCAP and other members.

If it is necessary in view of the total world situation for us to haul down our flag in Japan, I feel that we should at the same time remove the flag pole. If each meeting is to be used by SCAP as an opportunity for a public demonstration of contempt for the Council and hostility towards Russia it is better to avoid Council meetings. Looking at this situation from Tokyo [and without the] knowledge to weigh it against broadly related situations elsewhere I feel that it is important for the B.C.O.M. member to be instructed to press effectively and firmly that the Council must be granted in fact the position given to it in the terms of reference and I believe that such a statement may be supported by Russia and China.

The next meeting is 30th April and I await your instructions.

1 This cablegram was received in Canberra numbered ACJ5, and repeated with that number to Evatt in London on 23 April. It has been altered here in accordance with Ball's instruction in Document 216. See also Document 190, note 6.

2 Cablegrams ACJ3 and ACJ4, dispatched 18 and 20 April respectively, reported the second meeting of the Allied Council for Japan. (in 17 April Brigadier General Courtney Whitney, Chief of SCAP Government Section, spoke for three hours following a question from Derevyanko. Ball viewed Whitney's 'filibuster' as a 'deliberate attempt to treat the Council derisively and obstruct its work' and moved an adjournment until 19 April. This meeting failed to establish rules of procedure in face of opposition from Marquat and Whitney, the former insisting that 'the Council cannot presume to set a limit on information it receives from Supreme Commander'.

3 i.e. British Commonwealth.

4 See Document 124, note 2.

5 Material in square brackets has been inserted from the Tokyo copy on file AA:A5104/2, 1/3/2.

[AA:A1067, P46/10/33/19, i]