142 Burton to Jackson

Cablegram 92, CANBERRA, 12 March 1948

SECRET

Your K.19.[1]

In circumstances reported in your paragraphs 1 and 3 we feel that Commission could not lend itself to observation of election, which apparently will not result in a genuine reflection of the people's will (please see my memorandum of 5th March[2] and telegrams No 91 to Tokyo and No. 325[3] to Washington repeated as No 90 to Tokyo.) 2. I suggest that instead of accepting present situation and resigning itself to withdrawal the Commission should advise the United States that it could not participate in the conduct of elections in the present circumstances. The United States should be asked to postpone elections until such time as the Commission is satisfied that a majority of the people are prepared to co-operate and until Commission is assured that elections can be held in a free and democratic atmosphere. The Commission would also require assurance of the United States that the Commission would have full power to approve electoral procedure and preliminary arrangements.

3. If the United States does not agree to the Commission's wishes it might be incumbent upon the Commission to report the reasons for not observing elections to the General Assembly.[4]

[1] Dispatched 10 March 1948. It reported that 'most party leaders' had announced they would boycott the elections 'which are now under the control of ... extreme right[ist]s'. Furthermore, the moderates had resigned from the Interim Assembly leaving only extreme rightists.

[2] Document 140.

[3] Document 141.

[4] Shaw replied on 13 March 1948 that he had conveyed the message to Jackson by telephone that day.

[AA : A1838, 852/20/4, III]