Addison to Chifley

Cablegram D1444 LONDON, 14 August 1945, 5 p.m.


My telegram 13th August, D.1443, Japan-Draft Act of Surrender. [1]

His Majesty’s United Kingdom Minister Washington reports that coinciding with the receipt on 13th August of telegram containing our C.O.S. amendments the State Department informed him that the United States Government had now completed the Draft Act of Surrender, in preparing which they had benefitted from the timely delivery of our tentative Draft.

2. The State Department said however that the United States Government were not in a position to consult their Allies about the Act of Surrender. His Majesty’s Minister pointed out that when communicating tentative Draft he had (in accordance with instructions repeated in my telegram 12th August D.1434 [2]) stressed the importance of His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom having opportunity to consult His Majesty’s Governments in the Dominions. His Majesty’s Minister was then shown in strictest confidence (but not given) the United States Draft text of which is in my immediately following telegram. [3] The State Department explained that the reason why the United States Government were unwilling to enter into formal consultation with the United Kingdom Government was that they did not intend to invite comments of Soviet or Chinese Governments.

3. The State Department further explained that the reason why the United States Draft contained no provision corresponding to paragraph 5 of the United Kingdom Draft (my telegram 11th August D.1431 [4]) was that the United States Government thought it right not to diverge from the statement in their reply (my telegram 11th August D.1429 [5]) to the Japanese peace offer that all orders required to give effect to the surrender terms should issue from the Supreme Allied Commander. The United States Government considered that authority granted to the Supreme Commander under their Act of Surrender would suffice to ensure that all necessary subsidiary action was taken by the Japanese.

4. The State Department while adhering to the line that they could not discuss the terms of their Draft or even communicate it officially to us undertook to impart to the United States authorities concerned suggestions in my telegram D.1443 and any supplementary suggestions we might later wish to make. They implied however that it was too late to incorporate amendments.

5. We are urgently examining the United States Draft.

6. As the United States Draft was shown on a strictly personal and confidential basis special secrecy attaches to information in this telegram and to the terms of the United States Draft and it is most important that both should be treated with the utmost discretion.


1 On file AA : A1066, P45/10/1/3, ii. The copy is in fact dated 14 August. It set out amendments to the Draft Act of Surrender suggested by the U.K. Chiefs of Staff.

2 On the file cited in note 1.

3 Document 189.

4 Actually dated 12 August. On file AA : A1066, P45/10/1/2.

Paragraph 5 read: ‘The Imperial Japanese Government and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters undertake to fulfill without question any other terms of whatever kind which the Allies may decide to impose upon Japan.’ 5 Document 179.


[AA : A1066, P45/10/1/3, ii]