331 Shaw to Evatt

Cablegram 232 TOKYO, 28 April 1948

SECRET

Reference 156. [1]

I propose to make the following brief statement to the Allied Council this morning:-

'In bringing before the Allied Council the question of the recently passed Maritime Safety Authorities Bill, I have no wish to embark on a detailed examination of the purposes of the Act or its provisions. I understand that this legislation is being discussed by the Far Eastern Commission which is a more appropriate place to consider in detail the technical aspects of the subject matter involved.

All I wish to do is to draw the attention of the Council to the importance of this Bill which authorizes the re-establishment of a coast guard force under the control of the Japanese. Unfortunately the first public statements relative to the Bill were contained in Japanese press reports repeated by foreign correspondents which gave to the world an exaggerated account of the Japanese forces contemplated under the Bill. The first accurate information which I obtained was the Japanese text of the Bill as presented to the Diet. A perusal of the Bill indicates that the more sensational details contained in the press reports were inaccurate.

The fact remains that the principles involved in the legislation were important enough to have warranted prior advice at least either to members of the Council or FEC.'

I am sending copy of my statement only in advance to the American chairman of the Council to whom I had emphasised that I do not wish a prolonged discussion. The Chinese and Soviet members of the Council have however both indicated that they wish to speak on this subject.

1 Document 330.

[AA:A1838/278, 481/9]