Forsyth to Dunk

Cablegram 1085 WASHINGTON, 1 December 1945, 12.15 a.m.


You will have seen FEC28, reporting 7th meeting of Commission 28th November. [1] There was substantial agreement on contents of document ‘post-surrender policy for Japan’ produced by basic policy committee under Dr. Evatt’s chairmanship. Contents are in line with Australian policies stated in telegrams sent in August and September to United Kingdom and conveyed to other Governments, including United States.

Only one point of significance raised in Commission in considering various reports from the Committee remained outstanding towards close of meeting (see FEC28, paragraph 3 (b)). [2] American representative, McCoy, however speaking from the chair strongly resisted endeavour of Evatt supported by Halifax, Pearson [3], Bajpai [4] and others to have the document given general approval as suitable for submission to Governments. Evatt, realizing further perseverance might create rupture, agreed to reference back to sub committee although majority of commission were clearly of his opinion that document could be approved.

McCoy’s behaviour has caused some comment among Delegations and Evatt’s reputation has been enhanced. (Fact is work so far done by Commission has been due to his initiative and drive). Halifax and Pearson were especially helpful. McCoy’s contention was that some matters of substance had not been given ‘due consideration’. Evatt rightly pointed out that long series of discussions, especially in committee, had given everyone full opportunity to clear such matters.

At sub committee meeting following commission all points so far raised and still outstanding were settled and preamble agreed on.

Preamble had taken on some significance as it contained phrases bearing more emphasis on positive and constructive long range policy for Japan than appears at first sight in basi[c] policy report. In commissions consideration of preamble Evatt after obtaining omission of some phrases which might be interpreted as over conciliatory towards Japanese finally accepted general sense.

Much of preamble in any case originated from Australian draft and matters of special interest to Australia were included.

America may raise at next meeting of commission some matters not hitherto raised by 7th meeting should document [5] be acceptable to majority of delegations without substantial change as suitable ‘basic policy’ for submission to Governments.

All informed agree that early development of Commission into effective inter-governmental organ for co-ordination of policy is mainly due to Australian leadership. Close and harmonious British Commonwealth relations have been a feature of FEC work.


1 Dispatched 30 November, from the Legation in Washington. On file AA : A1066, P45/10/33/2.

2 A redrafted clause concerning the territorial limits of Japan.

3 Canadian Ambassador to the United States.

4 Indian Agent-General in Washington.

5 Signs on either side of the word ‘document’ indicate ‘mutilated’.


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