312 Evatt to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 328 CANBERRA, 6 April 1948, 5.45 a.m.

SECRET

We now have full text of General MacArthur's message to United States War Department of 18th January which was published in Washington and Tokyo on 31st March. [1] We are not clear whether initiative in making it public came from House of Representatives, Appropriations Committee in Washington or from SCAP himself. In either event we consider that publication by United States authorities without consultation with other Governments sharing responsibility for control and occupation of Japan is discourteous and altogether disturbing. The action of releasing it clearly forms part of a calculated campaign to work up public feeling in United States in favour of action to rebuild Japan.

You should enter a strong protest at next meting of Far Eastern Commission against action of United States authorities in making public virtual threat to by-pass and ignore F.E.C. on matters which it is actively considering. As you know, we have always considered that there is no necessity for Japanese to go abroad for cultural and educational purposes, and we are even more strongly opposed to proposal that Japanese businessmen be permitted to travel abroad.

The United Kingdom Government are also concerned at United States action and you should seek support of United Kingdom representative [2]

1 The message recommended the lifting of restrictions on trade and the restoration of right of Japanese to travel abroad, 2 Makin made a statement of protest at meeting on 15 April 1948 and was supported by New Zealand. The UK member had been instructed to raise the matter with the State Department only. See cablegrams 459 and 451 from Washington, dispatched 15 and 14 April 1948 respectively.

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