Evatt to Byrnes

Letter WASHINGTON, 26 October 1945

I ask permission to address you on a matter of urgent importance.

The Washington press carries an item of news today with regard to a new proposal for the establishment of a Control Council at Tokyo.

It is suggested that the constitution of this Council may be agreed to by the United States Government subject to certain terms and conditions.

I have the honor to request that you should accept such proposal only on the basis that Australia is included as a member of such Council.

Important communications passed between our governments through the Acting American Minister at Canberra in connection with the original United Kingdom proposal for a Control Council at Tokyo.

That original proposal provided for the inclusion of Australia and four other nations as members of the Council.

It was at your request in London recently that the United Kingdom proposal was deferred following upon M. Molotov’s somewhat analogous proposal being placed by him before the Council of Foreign Ministers. As you know, I was in very close touch with all the proceedings and negotiations.

The final understanding was that the Washington Advisory Commission which is about to meet should have its functions defined and clarified in accordance with a draft prepared by the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Bevin. On the basis of this understanding I agreed with the United Kingdom Government that their own proposal for a Control Council should be deferred pending the outcome of the initial meetings of the Washington Commission.

On behalf of the Australian Government, I request that, if the establishment of a Control Council is now accepted no reason whatever exists for the exclusion of Australia from its membership. The war effort of Australia in the Pacific has been active and long sustained and it has been recognised as outstanding in official communications from your government to which I have referred above. By contrast Soviet Russia entered the Pacific war only just before its conclusion.

The matter is of such importance to Australia that I feel that this communication should be forwarded to you immediately.



[AA : A5471, A2]