Addison to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram D1743 LONDON, 19 September 1945, 2.50 p.m.


The Joint Staff Mission at Washington have reported to us that the United States Chiefs of Staff have communicated to General MacArthur an exposition of his authority as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. This document has been approved by President Truman and is in the following terms.

(a) The authority of the Emperor and the Japanese Government to rule the state is subordinate to you as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers. You will exercise your authority as you deem proper to carry out your mission. Our relations with Japan do not rest on a contractual basis, but on an unconditional surrender. Since your authority is supreme you will not entertain any question on the part of the Japanese as to its scope.

(b) Control of Japan shall be exercised through the Japanese Government to the extent that such an arrangement produces satisfactory results. This does not prejudice your right to act directly if required. You may enforce orders issued by you by the employment of such measures as you deem necessary including the use of force.

(c) The statement of intentions contained in the Potsdam Declaration will be given full effect. It will not be given effect, however, because we consider ourselves bound in a contractual relationship with Japan as a result of that document.

It will be respected and given effect because the Potsdam Declaration forms a part of our policy stated in good faith with relation to Japan and with relation to peace and security in the Far East.



[AA : A1066, P45/10/33]