Addison to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram D1838 LONDON, 30 September 1945, 9.00 p.m.


CONTROL MACHINERY FOR JAPAN As you will have seen from reports of discussions in the Council of Foreign Ministers, the Soviet Delegation have proposed the establishment of an Allied Control Council in Japan consisting of Representatives of the United States, United Kingdom, China and the Soviet Union but the United States Delegation have declined to discuss the proposal.

2. The United States Delegation have pressed us strongly to agree to their proposal for a Far Eastern Advisory Commission in Washington (my telegram 28th August D No. 1538) [1], if only to forestall Soviet pressure for a Four Power Control Council in Japan which would be embarrassing to the United States Government.

The Foreign Secretary urged on the United States Secretary of State that if the suggestion for a control council in Japan were not to be pursued, the proposed Advisory Commission in Washington ought to be made a really effective body with the function in particular of approving directives on non-military matters before issue to General MacArthur and with power to transfer headquarters to Tokyo. Clause 6 of the proposed terms of reference should also be amended so that continued existence of the Commission should not be at the mercy of a single Power. [2] India should also be included.

3. The United States Delegate made it clear that the United States Government were firmly determined not to have a Control Commission in Japan on the Berlin model or indeed any Commission which would be subject to veto of an individual power. Subject to this, however, they were ready to consider any amendments to the proposed terms of reference of the Advisory Commission which we liked to suggest since they were most anxious to get the policy towards Japan on to a collective basis and to put a speedy end to the present anomalous situation.

4. But Mr. Byrnes urged that any proposal at this stage to amend the terms of reference suggested by the United States Government or even any reservation of the right to propose amendments would in all probability lead to the Soviet Government proposing other amendments and the whole field would be opened up to embarrassing international discussion and controversy and further delay would ensue. He therefore made a strong appeal to us to trust the United States Government by agreeing without reservation to the United States proposal exactly as made. Once the Commission had been constituted it would be open to us to propose in Washington any amendments which we thought essential.

5. The matter has been considered by Cabinet who felt it right, in order to avoid further indefinite delay, to authorise the Foreign Secretary to accept the United States proposal for a Far Eastern Advisory Commission. He has accordingly informed Mr. Byrnes that we are prepared to agree that the proposed Commission should be called together in Washington at the earliest practicable date, that we agree to membership as proposed but must request that India be also included and a representative of India be invited to opening meeting; and that it is our understanding that it shall be within the power of the commission to determine whether it shall continue to meet in Washington or in Tokyo.


1 In fact dispatched 24 August. On file AA : A1066, P45/10/33/1.

2 This clause provided that the Commission could be dissolved on the initiative of any one of the Four powers.


[AA : A1066, P45/10/33/1]