249 Department of External Affairs to Evatt

Cablegram A100 CANBERRA, 17 May 1946


F.E.C. Basic Policy. [1]

1. Please see our telegram to Washington repeated to you. [2] Steering Committee on 16th April postponed consideration of Basic Policy Paper at request of U.S.S.R. member. Our F.E.C. delegation requested our views on United States amendments and these have been formulated (see below). At Steering Committee on 14th May Sansom [3] proposed that F.E.C. should not consider Basic Policy Paper because he felt that with committees now working on specific subjects Commission policy was thus being defined. U.S.S.R. on 13th May submitted 18 amendments and seem inclined to consider Basic Policy. We have asked delegation to cable Soviet amendments.

Most members will probably ask for Basic Policy to be considered by Steering Committee. This is the course we have so far supported and we assume you still desire it. As matter will come before Steering Committee on 21st May glad of your urgent confirmation to Washington and Canberra.

2. We had prepared a telegram on U.S. amendments for your consideration as basis for instructions to F.E.C. delegation. We are now holding this pending consideration of Soviet proposals.

1 Evatt had been chairman of the Far Eastern Advisory Commission's working committee on Basic Policies and Objectives Towards Japan which had prepared Document FEAC2/3, 'Post Surrender Policy for Japan' (Volume VIII, Document 427). On 5 December 1945 the Commission adopted FEAC2/3 for submission to member governments before its transmission as an official Allied document to MacArthur, but while Australia, India and New Zealand promptly notified approval with reservations (Australia stating that the words 'binding international agreement' in Part I would be interpreted as 'agreements which Australia had signed'), the U.S.

and U.K. Govts presented long lists of reservations. The matter then lapsed until a decision by the F.E.C. Steering Committee, on 29 March, to circulate FEAC2/3 and members' reservations as F.E.C.


2 An instruction to Lavarack, subject to confirmation by Evatt, to continue supporting consideration of basic policy by the Steering Committee with a view to adoption of the document by the F.E.C. It noted that time would be needed to consider the Soviet proposals before discussion of the amendments.

3 Sir George Sansom, U.K. member.

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