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66 Ball to Evatt

Cablegram Personal and Secret for the Minister 5 TOKYO, 13 August


1. Although today's Council Meeting was convened on Atcheson's initiative to consider procedural questions exclusively Atcheson surprised the Council by making the following proposal at the beginning of the Meeting: 'General MacArthur and I propose that the Council invite Representatives of those eleven Allied Powers which waged the Pacific War and which now have Missions in Tokyo to sit here with us informally and unofficially and contribute their views. We would be glad to see our friend, the British Ambassador, sitting at this table. We would be glad to see our friend General Pechkoff the French Ambassador at the Council table. We would be glad to have our friend General Schilling Head of the Netherlands Military Mission here with us. We would be glad if a Representative of the Philippines Government were to join in our discussions. We would be happy to have all the Allied Representatives concerned ma[k]e a valued contribution to our work and to the furtherance of the occupation objecti[ve]s ... That he (General MacArthur) seeks and welcomes advice and counsel of all is in my opinion a reflection of great wisdom, profound insight and far-seeing statesmanship with which he has handled the occupation.' 2. The Chinese Member said that he would need time to consider. I took the same line. The Russian Member claimed that such an extension of the Council Membership, although informal, was in fact inconsistent with the Council's terms of reference. The proposal was therefore outside the Council's purview.

3. Atcheson then invited the Council to discuss procedural questions. He had no recommendations to make but said that he expected other members to make proposals since they had at the last Meeting supported breach of procedural rules by Derevyanko.

The other three members had no proposals to offer and pointed out that since Atcheson had taken initiative in raising procedural issue they had expected him to table specific recommendations.

4. During discussion I said that I felt that the kind of procedural rules appropriate would depend on the kind of business likely to be sent before the Council. Atcheson replied that Members should have easy notion of type of questions on which the Supreme Commander would wish their advice. I replied that the situation was not clear to me. For example I said that while the Council had been asked its advice some weeks ago on comparatively minor fishing problem, that is, whether there should be an extension of the home fishing area, it was not consulted about the much more important question-whether the Japanese should be granted the right to resume whaling in the Antarctic. Atcheson replied that resumption of whaling was a matter of 'compelling urgency'. He showed resentment at my comments.

5. The general atmosphere of the Meeting was unhappy. The Chinese and Russian members clearly expressed their impatience with Atcheson's tactics.

6. My own view is that this morning's meeting brings the Council's difficulties to a head. If S.C.A.P.'s proposal to enlarge the Council membership to eleven were to be adopted it would make my British Commonwealth Representation completely unreal, since Atcheson would welcome any differences between the British Ambassador and myself.

7. I am sure that you would not wish me to continue as Council Member if this proposal were adopted.

8. I feel that the situation which has developed can only be dealt with at the highest level and that the conditions under which the Council works should be most carefully reviewed. Major weaknesses of the Council are:-

(a) hostility and suspicion between the United States and Russia.

(b) MacArthur's unwillingness to consult the Council on most major occupation problems.

(c) Atcheson's eagerness to assail as an expression of Allied hostility any comment in the Council which might be construed as a criticism of any aspect of MacArthur's work.

9. May I suggest that this telegram be considered in relation to my telegrams secret and personal for the Minister numbers 3 and 4.

MacArthur's attitude towards the Council its continuance will merely, serve to promote discord among Allied Powers.'

[AA:A1838/2, 482/7, i]

1 Documents 34 and 41.

2 In cablegram 280 dispatched 17 August, Addison outlined why the U.K. Geer found the proposal unacceptable, the main reason being that it would be contrary to the provisions of the Moscow Agreement to allow participation in the discussions of the Allied Council for Japan by representatives of nations not specified in paragraph 2 of that agreement.

[1] 10. I believe that unless there is a marked change in
Last Updated: 11 September 2013

Category: International relations

Topic: History