69 Department of External Affairs to Evatt

Cablegram P164 CANBERRA, 15 August 1946


Reference Ball's report on ACJ meeting held on 13th August. [1] Following are our comments for your consideration.

1. The constitution of the Allied Council for Japan was the outcome of high level discussions at Moscow in December, 1945. The Allied Council itself did not decide its constitution or terms of reference and presumably has no power to alter them. The same applies to SCAP who is the appointee of the same powers.

2. Our departmental view of suggestion for enlargement of council representation is affected by following considerations which are to some extent conflicting:

(a) It has been a major point in Australian policy to support and in fact lead the democratic movement for participation of all allied powers having direct concern in the implementation of postarmistice policy, especially belligerents in particular theatres.

(b) At the same time Australia has been developing its position as representative of British Commonwealth in the Pacific. Our position on ACJ is important in this respect, but would be incompatible with separate representation of United Kingdom, New Zealand and India which SCAP proposal would require. 3. Presence of the British Ambassador at ACJ meetings would obviously raise very difficult questions as to Macmahon Ball's position as representative of the United Kingdom. Note that Atcheson specifically mentioned advantage of British Ambassador's presence.

4. We suggest that as regards forthcoming meeting Wednesday next 21st August Macmahon Ball should be instructed to prevent any conclusion and if possible any discussion on this proposal which he could do on grounds that matter is being considered by Governments he represents.

5. As regards substance we suggest consultation with United Kingdom, New Zealand and India with view to instructions to Ball on the lines that the SCAP proposal is a matter outside the province of the Allied Council for Japan. Such discussion may throw light upon attitude Australia should adopt if question of constitution of Allied Council again comes before Council of Foreign Ministers.

6. We have circulated the factual portion of Ball's report on the meeting of 13th August namely paragraphs 1-5 of his No.5 to You.

7. Glad of early advice, especially as to our paragraph 4 above.


1 Document 66.

2 Evatt replied on 17 August that he entirely agreed with suggested instructions to Ball contained in paragraph 4, adding that it was completely contrary to the Moscow Agreement for suggestions of this kind to be made, and that Ball was 'struggling to do his best' in a difficult situation.

[AA:A1838/238, 480/7]