Bruce to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram 97A LONDON, 16 August 1945, 11.53 p.m.



The Far East Committee had second meeting to-day.

I put Australia’s case for establishment of a Regional organization and that its Headquarters should not be in China, down lines set out in your telegram 164 of 31st July [1], and Evatt’s cable to Lehman. [2] I was immediately met by the argument that Australia has already agreed that the Committee of Council for the Far East should as soon as practicable be located in liberated China and that if a regional organization was created, it should be situated in same place as Committee for the Far East.

As the discussion developed and it became clear that there was no chance of getting the members to reverse the previous decision as to location in China, I developed the idea of two authorities equal in status.

(a) China, Formosa, Korea.

(b) The rest of the Far East.

There is some support for this but towards the end of the meeting, the U.S.A. representative [3] announced he had just received instructions from his Government to oppose any decision on the establishment of Far Eastern Regional authority at the present meeting and to ask that consideration should be postponed to a further meeting in Washington at an early date i.e. in a month or six weeks time after the position had been reconsidered in the light of Japan’s surrender. Lehman also urged this course should be adopted as the administration desired time to consider the administrative problems involved in the light of the new situation.

While no decision was reached, I sensed the great majority of representatives were in favour of the U.S.A. proposal with its backing from the Director General.

We will in my view, have to acquiesce as even if we could force a decision at present meeting, I am clear it would not be one in accordance with our views.



1 Cablegram 164 was in fact dispatched by Evatt on 30 July. On file AA : A1066, ER45/6/12.

2 Document 160.

3 William L. Clayton.


[AA : A1066, ER45/6/12]