9 Cablegram From Embassy in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram, Washington, 29 June 1950

481. SECRET

Your 260.[1]

It is unlikely that we shall have much to report on the points raised in your para 2 until next week as State Department Officials are still preoccupied with immediate Korean problems.

2. Following are preliminary comments:

(a) Japanese Treaty. (See also our 453 paragraph 2.) Fearey somewhat more optimistic than Bre[am][2] although cautious about possible attitude of defence authorities. He is inclined to think that, if situation in Korea brought under control in the near future, steps might still be taken to go ahead with Peace Treaty. State Department position remains that Security position in Japan would be stronger under peace treaty than under continuance of occupation.

(b) Pacific Pact. It would seem to be a useful opportunity for putting informally to State Department view point.

(1) That some regional arrangement or even prior consultation between our two countries might have been helpful to them in meeting the sudden crisis;

(2) That as it was they had to act on their own and hoped to get backing afterwards from the other countries;

(3) That to have some machinery for automatic consultation between United States and Australia might help to meet further crises.

We have been impressed by the obvious anxiety of the State Department to obtain backing as soon as possible for their Korean move through United Nations and their genuine gratification at Australia's prompt response.[3] We gather from Satterthwaite that the Korean incident has given fresh impetus to consideration of our Minister's initiative and ideas and that the above points are already being canvassed in several quarters in State Department.[4]

1 27 June. It instructed the Embassy in Washington to report on US intentions regarding future action by the UN Security Council in Korea where hostilities between the Democratic Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea had commenced on 25 June, and on the provision of US assistance to the Republic of Korea. It also requested the Embassy to provide an assessment of the impact of the outbreak of hostilities in Korea on US thinking in relation to the Japanese Peace Treaty and the Pacific Pact.

2 Charles G. Bream, Foreign Service Officer, Department of State.

3 On 29 June, Menzies announced that Australia had decided to support the UN Security Council's resolution on 27 June calling for the cessation of hostilities in Korea and the withdrawal of North Korean armed forces from South Korea, and recommending that 'members of the United Nations furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack [of North Korea] and to restore international peace and security in the area'. Menzies further announced that the Australian Government had placed the ships of the Royal Australian Navy, then in Japanese waters, at the disposal of the United Nations through the US authorities in support of the Republic of Korea.

4 On 16 February, Makin had communicated to Canberra press reports that General MacArthur was said to have told the US Joint Chiefs of Staff in Tokyo that 'more United States air, sea and land power must be made available in the Pacific if the advance of Communism in Asia is to be held back. General MacArthur is also said to have urged that the Pacific no longer be considered as a secondary area in United States strategy'.

[NAA : A1838, 532/11, i]