Commonwealth Government to Addison

Cablegram 255 CANBERRA, 28 August 1945


Your D.1537 [1] and 1538 [2] of 24th August.

Far Eastern Advisory Commission.

1. We have been impressed in the past with the need for a body similar to, but more representative than, the European Advisory Commission for Pacific purposes. Therefore, we agree that the proposed Far Eastern Advisory Commission representative of all Powers chiefly responsible for the defeat of Japan might serve a useful purpose in coordinating the fulfilment of the surrender terms.

2. The following considerations seem to us important:

(a) The proposal as it stands that the Commission should deal with the steps necessary and the machinery required to supervise Japan’s compliance with surrender terms might interfere with the setting up or effective functioning of a control authority for Japan in the first decisive stages of the post-surrender period so as to leave the Supreme Commander in sole control. For reasons explained in our telegram 249 [3] this is unsatisfactory. We hope it is not intended and we strongly support the establishment of a Control Council by selected Allied Powers, including Australia.

(b) The relation of the proposed Advisory Commission to the Council of Foreign Ministers needs careful examination. It seems that the Council of Foreign Ministers will continue to be the decisive policy-shaping body for settlement of basic territorial and other issues in the Far East. Australian membership of proposed Advisory Commission cannot in any way be regarded as a substitute for our full participation in the work of the Council.

3. Clause VI of terms of reference (your D.1538) giving the right to terminate the Commission at the will of any one of the Four Powers is in our view unnecessary and unjustifiable. This is surely the veto carried to its most illogical conclusion.


1 Document 212.

2 Dispatched 24 August. On file AA : A1066, P45/10/33/1.

3 Document 210.


[AA : A3196, 1945, FOLDER, OUTWARDS MOST SECRET, 0.22349/50/1]