175 Ball to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram Department 111 TOKYO, 24 October 1946, 4 p.m.


Your 137-Land Reform. [1]

1. My recommendations concerning land reform were supported completely by the Chinese member and in part by the Soviet member who, however, made several additional proposals, including confiscation of land over a certain area, which were inconsistent with British and Chinese proposals.

2. The land reform act was warmly approved by MacArthur. It included all my proposals [2] in substance and detail except that it omitted 2 supplementary safeguards which I had recommended.

3. There was no S.C.A.P. directive implementing the Council's recommendations but I understand that S.C.A.P. informed the Japanese Government that it should prepare a new bill incorporating my proposals and S.C.A.P. administration gave detailed and positive help in drafting the Bill.

4. Only one copy of translated bill available here. Shall endeavour to secure copy to send you immediately.

1 Dispatched 23 October from Canberra, this cablegram relayed an article in the New York Herald Tribune reporting that many large Japanese landowners were grateful to the United States occupation authorities for having refused to implement an 'extremely cruel, land reform program suggested by 'representatives of the Soviet Union and Britain' in the Allied Council.

2 See Volume IX, Document 298.

[AA:A1067, ER46/13/27]