502 Fraser to Australian Government

Cablegram 54 [1] WELLINGTON, 15 March 1947, 12.15 p.m.

SECRET

With reference your Saving Telegram No. 4 of 12th February, Canberra Saving No. 3.

While in general we would welcome any disposition of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan which the Commander-in- Chief might find it possible to make and which would enhance British prestige, afford greater opportunity to influence the Japanese and advance our ultimate economic interests, it would appear that there may be some doubt as to the practicability of this in view of the reduction in the New Zealand Army complement.

While we agree that every effort must be made to secure the greatest value from the Force so long as it is retained there we feel, at the same time, that no disposition should be undertaken which would mitigate against the progressive reduction of the Force in accordance with the original plans.

2. We are, however, quite willing that the Commander-in-Chief should consider the proposal and that the Governments be informed what disposition, having regard to the progressive reduction to be effected in accordance with the discharge of military obligations, may be possible to achieve the objectives stated in your message.

1 This cablegram was addressed to Addison as Cablegram 54 and repeated to the Australian Government also as Cablegram 54.

[AA : A1838, TS481/1/3]