Forsyth to Burton

Cablegram 994 (extract) WASHINGTON, 7 November 1945, 8.46 p.m.



1. Reference FEC.5 paragraph 7. [1] The United Kingdom Delegation informed us [5 November] [2] that the British Ambassador had been instructed to make a protest to the State Department concerning the United States statement under reference and to inform the State Department of the United Kingdom sympathy for Dr. Evatt’s point of view. The State Department also to be informed that the United Kingdom Government had been proceeding on assumption that terms of reference would be discussed by a commission as a whole though this would not preclude informal consultation between delegations. Delegation was instructed to continue to follow this line. With regard to the American proposal for an Allied Military Council in Japan (see D.2033 [3] and FEC.6 [4]) United Kingdom Cabinet still had this matter under consideration and had not replied to the United Kingdom Delegation’s suggestion that the Commander of the British Commonwealth Force should be British Commonwealth Representative.

2. The second meeting of the commission on 6th November dealt entirely with matters of organisation and procedure. The Russians were not present. It was agreed that despite the anomalous situation (i.e. that terms of reference had not yet been agreed) informal discussions could proceed without raising questions of strict constitutional basis. Naggiar [5] nominated the United States representative [6] as permanent president. As a result of discussion it was agreed not to appoint a ‘permanent’ chairman as membership might not yet be complete and terms of reference were not yet settled. Also agreed to appoint a ‘person’ not a ‘representative’. It followed from personal appointment that in the absence of the chairman, his alternate representing the same government would not necessarily deputise as chairman and consequently one or more vice chairmen would be needed. General McCoy was unanimously elected chairman in accordance with the above. Nelson Johnson was elected secretary general on our nomination. It was made clear that nomination of personnel to the secretariat from all delegations would be welcomed. The general feeling was that questions of organisation should be left to the secretary general, Dr. Evatt making the point that secretary general should have authority to expand the secretariat and that anything tending to give it an international character should be encouraged. No formal steps were taken concerning the secretariat and for the present at least the basis is generally as indicated in FEC.5. The chairman assured the delegates that the commission would be provided with up to date information and it was stated that directives and orders so far furnished comprised all documents available to the United States Government. The draft long-term agenda previously circulated was not discussed but it was arranged that the secretary general and advisers should meet and revise it for subsequent consideration by the commission. Dr.

Evatt took the opportunity to obtain the chairman’s assent to the view that any delegation might bring forward additional matters.

The commission was to meet on 7th November to obtain information from General Hilldring of the Civil Affairs Division of the United States War Department.

[matter omitted]


1 Dispatched 2 November as cablegram 977. It referred to statements reported in cablegram 974, dispatched 2 November from the Legation in Washington. A spokesman of the Department of State had said that the United States would not be consulting with any governments of the Far Eastern Advisory Commission other than the Soviet Union, China and France while a spokesman of the Far Eastern Advisory Commission had stated that any question of revising the Commission’s terms of reference would be decided by the four inviting powers: the United Kingdom, China, the Soviet Union and the United States. Evatt, protesting against the two decisions, had requested adequate consultation before any new proposals for the powers and functions of the Commission were finalised. The cablegrams are on file AA : A1066, P45/10/33/2.

2 Corrected in accordance with Forsyth’s cablegram 1002, dispatched 8 November. On the file cited in note 1.

3 Dispatched 31 October. On file AA : A1066, P45/10/33.

4 Dispatched 3 November as cablegram 978. On the file cited in note 1.

5 French representative.

6 Maj Gen Frank McCoy.


[AA : A1066, P45/10/33/2]