326 Addison to Australian Government

Cablegram D543 LONDON, 20 June 1947, 9.20 p.m.


Japanese Peace Settlement.

We have been considering on the basis of ideas which now seem to be generally agreed between us as regards the composition and level of the proposed British Commonwealth Conference at Canberra what form discussions there could best take. The question as we see it is governed by the following two important considerations:-

(A) The object of the Conference is:-

(i) To discuss the procedure to be adopted in reaching Japanese peace settlement, and (2) To exchange views regarding the basic issues affecting future treatment of Japan with particular reference to the manner in which these are to be dealt with in the Japanese peace treaty.

Discussions under(2)will probably have to be on broad lines if ground is to be covered in the time available for our talks.

(B) The object of the Canberra Conference would not in our view (which will no doubt be shared by other Commonwealth Governments) be to aim at the production of any agreed British Commonwealth draft for the Japanese treaty. The United States Government have already shown themselves to be sensitive to any suggestion that this is the object of the Conference. While it is not intended to discuss the Japanese Peace Settlement with any other power in advance of the British Commonwealth meeting one of its purposes is (as suggested in my telegram D No.367 of 11th April) to prepare the ground for informal discussions with the Americans.

2. Subjects which we think that in the light of the above would fall to be discussed at Canberra can conveniently be set out as follows:-

(1) Procedure to be adopted in reaching the settlement;

(A) Membership of the Peace Making Body;

(B) Voting procedure i.e. whether (i) Straight majority vote;

(ii) Percentage majority vote;

(iii) Majority vote with special position accorded to certain powers;

(iv) Unanimous vote.

(2) Form which the settlement should take.

The main question under this head[ing] is whether there should be a single instrument (i.e. Japanese Peace Treaty) or two (i.e. the Japanese Peace Treaty preceded by a separate treaty of disarmament and control on the lines of the draft published by the Under Secretary [1] in June, 1946 [2]).

(3) Content of the Settlement.

Under this heading we contemplate exchanges of view regarding in general the kind of Japan we should hope to see in the long term and as to how in particular our objectives in this respect can be reconciled with the needs of military security and with the various economic considerations which apply. Among matters which might conveniently be discussed at the Conference are the following:-

(A) Arrangements for the termination of the occupation and for the subsequent Security Council of Japan (whether covered in one instrument or two);

(B) Arrangements for the economic supervision in Japan (e.g. of customs administration and exchange control);

(C) Inter-allied organisation in Japan to supervise the execution of control provisions of the treaty;

(D) Reparations and the future level of Japanese industry.

3. The above is not of course intended as an exclusive survey of the scope of the Conference. We should be grateful for comments of other British Commonwealth Governments.

In order to save time we suggest that these should be repeated to other Governments at the same time.

1 'Under Secretary' had been altered by hand to read 'U.S.' 2 See Volume IX, Document 253.

[AA : A1068, P47/10/61, ii]