The Chargé in Japan (Neville) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 6—6:26 a.m.]
38. Embassy’s telegram 30, March 22, 4 p.m. The Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs told me today that the Government was still experiencing difficulty with the Privy Council in regard to the phrase “in the names of their respective peoples”. He said that some of the members were insisting that the Government make a public declaration in regard to the phrase at the time of ratification while others were of the opinion that the Privy Council should insist upon a reservation by Japan in respect to that phrase. He said that while the Government was hopeful that Privy Council would not make any reservation, he was unable to give me positive assurance in this regard. He said that the Privy Council would probably act this week and that he would notify me immediately of its decision.
The Privy Council is at present composed of 37 members, 11 of which represent the Government. I believe that the Government would have no very great difficulty in obtaining 8 non-Government members to vote with it, if it becomes a question of a fight on the treaty. It would be unprecedented however for the Privy Council to have a division on a treaty question and the Government is evidently anxious to avoid it. Consequently, the Prime Minister is trying to arrange matters privately beforehand so that there will be no contest at the meeting of the Council.