320 Evatt to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 395 CANBERRA, 25 July 1949, 5 p.m.


Your 478 (F.E.C. 99).

Japanese labour legislation.

United States Embassy here has presented aide-memoire on the subject of the Australian resolution [1], which the United States Government understands you intend to press to a vote in the full Commission on 28th July. United States Government I earnestly hopes that the Australian Government will see its way clear to withdraw the resolution or at least to hold in abeyance any action to bring the resolution to vote'.

The aide-memoire repeats some of the familiar arguments hitherto used, but lays special stress on the undesirable effect that would be created if the resolution were to be voted on and vetoed by the United States at this juncture, when the occupation authorities are seriously embarrassed by labour unrest arising from mass lay- offs of surplus workers. Copy of aide-memoire is being sent by bag.

We have told United States Embassy that we were not aware that you were pressing for a vote this week, and that in the circumstances, while we are not prepared to surrender the principle that worker[s] in Japanese Government enterprises (outside the Civil Service) should not be prohibited by law from striking, we shall not insist on a vote at this time.

You should be guided accordingly. In view of reports from Tokyo regarding the present Japanese labour situation, there is probably substance in the United States claim that a vote on our resolution would have undesirable repercussions in Japan without gaining our own objective. Without withdrawing resolution you should therefore postpone any action on it for the time being. [2]

Following the signing of the Treaty of Peace on 8 September 1951, the Far Eastern Commission adjourned on 21 September 1951 and was never reconvened.

1 See Document 319.

2 Australia did not press in, a vote and the matter remained permanently on the agenda of the Commission.

[AA:A1838/278, 478/2/5, iii]