238 Department of External Affairs to Evatt

Cablegram A72 CANBERRA, 9 May 1946

Reference ACJ9. [1] Following for your consideration in relation to Macmahon Ball's request for instructions.

1. Ball proposes to raise food question again. Atcheson's position is that particular question of food imports is outside Council's competence vide ACJ8. Atcheson may not take same position in regard to production, rationing and fertilizer questions. If he does so, however, Ball's proposed action would raise once more the main issue i.e. interpretation of terms of reference. This would again draw attention to need for high level decision envisaged in your E.11 [2] (repeated to Ball No.14).

2. Reference to paragraph i of Moscow terms [3] suggests it is unlikely that Atcheson's position is that the Council is in all circumstances precluded from dealing with food question. It seems more likely he is of the opinion that Council has no power of review and therefore cannot deal with arrangements made before its establishment. If so his position on food question would change if U.S. Government issued a new directive along lines of F.E.C.

resolution of 25th April [4] sent to you in A.28. Question of power of review however transcends particular question of food. We agree with view in N.Z. telegram of 5th May vide our 177 to Dominions Office paragraph 3(b). [5]

3. If it is decided that Ball should raise fertilizer question we are strongly of opinion after consultation with other Departments concerned that he should confine himself to local production. In light of serious world shortage of fertilizers and Australian needs our representative should not recommend fertilizer imports into Japan as this would further reduce supplies available to Allied Countries.

4. (for London only). [6] In all circumstances we think Ball's proposed action should be approved with exception noted in paragraph 3.

1 Document 236.

2 Document 211.

3 See Document 124, note 2.

4 See Document 236, note 3.

5 See Document 201, note 6. Paragraph 3(b) argued that the first paragraph of the Moscow terms of reference provided for a power of review, especially in matters affected by SCAP action before establishment of the Council. Fraser had agreed that the Council 'should not be entirely precluded from reviewing the earlier actions of SCAP, and at least paragraph 6 of the terms specifies more than mere advisory powers'.

6 With the exception of paragraph 4, the cablegram was repeated to Ball.

[AA:A1067, ER46/13/19/1]