Cablegram 1608 WASHINGTON, 21 November 1946, 10.19 p.m.
1. F.E.C. on 21st November discussed issuance of F.E.C. Policy
decision on review of Constitution, including views of the United
States Government and MacArthur (see our FEC.294). 
2. Australian Representative said that S.C.A.P. overlooked some
points made in previous Commission discussions, for example, in
Paragraph 1(B) he confused right of review with obligation to
exercise that right. S.C.A.P. also had not commented on danger of
leakage because at least 4,000 people must know of it by now. The
Australian Representative continued that MacArthur had discussed
matter in relation to occupation, but there were further problems
related to the obligation of F.E.C. Nations to Japanese and to
their own people. The Japanese should be informed that F.E.C. had
not allowed the new constitution to come into force
unconditionally. In addition the Allied peoples had the right to
know the attitude adopted by their Governments to the Japanese
Constitution. He called attention to possibility of matter arising
in an Allied Parliament and said that in such circumstances, each
Government had the right to make known policy decision if it
considered this necessary in the interests of its own National
Policy whatever decision F.E.C. made now on publication.
3. The Australian Member continued that he could not accept 2(B).
F.E.C. and its Member Governments must retain right to publish its
own decisions. He said he could accept 2(A) if it were amended to
read . . . 'S.C.A.P. should formally advise the Government of
Japan of the terms of the Policy decision contained in FEC-
031/41', and if it were not taken to prejudge the question of
publication. He said it was not sufficient to inform the Prime
Minister as a private individual and that moreover this would give
undemocratic role to the Japanese Chief Executive.
4. Australia was supported by New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom,
India, France and with minor qualification by China. Philippines
and Netherlands supported United States. U.S.S.R. said it would
agree to nothing short of complete publication.
5. The United States Member then proposed as an alternative that
2(A) be amended to remove the words 'as soon as possible' and to
add after 'Prime Minister of Japan' the words 'or his successors'
and to amend 2(B) by deleting words 'for the discretion of the
Supreme Commander' and substituting 'which will be considered
subsequently and in the light of future consultation with the
S.C.A.P.'. The Australian Member said he was not satisfied with
this. It appeared to mean that for possibly the next two years the
only person in Japan who knew about the Policy Decision would be
the Prime Minister or his successor.
6. Under steady pressure, the United States has weakened greatly
from its original stand, but you may consider the strong wording
of MacArthur's reply makes it politically difficult to insist on
putting to a vote a motion requiring immediate publication. United
States would veto such a proposal, but if we secure formal
communication to Japanese Cabinet, complete publication can not be
much longer avoided by United States.