Cablegram 1507 WASHINGTON, 1 November 1946, 10.37 p.m.
1. F.E.C. met on 1st November to consider MacArthur's reply on
publication of the constitutional review policy (see F.E.C.28o).
2. McCoy opened the meeting by saying that the United States
Government supported MacArthur's views.
3. The Australian representative reaffirmed the position taken by
him yesterday (see F.E.C.279 ), and in addition commented in
detail on MacArthur's statement. He said that the last paragraph
of S.C.A.P.'s reply seemed to indicate that S.C.A.P. was opposed
to publication at any time and was even opposed to the policy
itself. It would be quite impossible for the Commission to agree
that the policy should never be published. The Australian
representative then outlined the dangers of delay and referred to
the inevitability of leakage, the difficulty of referring to the
matter on the Allied Council and said it must be obvious to the
Japanese that the F.E.C. had at some time given careful
consideration to such an important matter as the constitution and
that publication of this policy statement was a very suitable way
of making known the views of the Allied powers. Suppression or
postponement of publication might indicate that the Commission was
doubtful of the value or legality of its policy decision. On the
contrary, Dr. Evatt's proposal was one of the most important the
Commission had ever adopted and was designed to protect not only
the interests of the Allied powers but the democratic future of
the Japanese people themselves.
4. Sansom  followed and strongly supported Australia,
criticising MacArthur's reply in some detail. He said that if
there were a case for postponing publication, it had not been
stated by S.C.A.P. New Zealand, India, Canada, and France followed
in that order, all supporting Australia.
5. In the end, after an adjournment to allow McCoy to consult the
United States Government, McCoy announced that he was greatly
impressed by the arguments advanced but the United States
Government considered it 'impractical' to make a statement in time
for promulgation tomorrow. He said that it seemed, from
information available to the State Department, that MacArthur
would not participate in the ceremonies in Tokyo. The Commission
therefore decided to ask the Constitutional Committee to prepare a
further consultation message to S.C.A.P. outlining the views
expressed in favour of early publication. This message will be
considered at the next meeting of F.E.C.
6. We have, therefore, not succeeded in obtaining immediate
publication, yet, by making a forceful stand and obtaining the
support of a majority of the Commission, United States resistance
has been greatly weakened and there is a very strong probability
of early publication. A special session of the Diet may be called
towards the end of November and it seems that our best strategy is
to press for publication to coincide with the opening of this
session which will consider new legislation to implement the
7. The New Zealand, United Kingdom and Indian members have been
particularly helpful and forceful in support of Australian
desires. We have been careful throughout to avoid any suggestion
of criticism of MacArthur personally.