Briefing Book Paper
Soviet Support of the Cairo Declaration
i. the substance of the cairo declaration
The Cairo Declaration (see Appendix for the text)1 was issued on December 1, 1943, by President Roosevelt, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and Prime Minister Churchill. Marshal Stalin was not a party to it. The Declaration contains the following territorial commitments:
Manchuria, Formosa and the Pescadores shall be restored to China.
Korea in due course shall become free and independent,
Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the first World War in 1914 (the Japanese Mandated Islands and the Spratly Islands), and
“Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed”.
ii. importance of soviet support of the declaration
A Soviet engagement to adhere to the Cairo Declaration would strengthen United States policy in the Far East and should tend to closer cooperation between the Soviet Union and the three Great Allies which issued the Declaration.[Page 927]
iii. consequences of soviet support
- Manchuria: A Soviet engagement to support the commitment that Manchuria shall be restored to China would be important in that it would bar the Soviet Union from making any territorial demands in Manchuria. It would not of itself, however, prevent Soviet attempts, as in Eastern Europe, to set up a “friendly” government in Manchuria.
- Formosa and the Pescadores: It is assumed that the Soviet Government has no direct interest in Formosa and the Pescadores and that it would not oppose the restoration of these territories to China.
- Korea: The Soviet Government should not object to the commitment that Korea in due course shall become free and independent. The Soviets, however, may attempt to set up a “friendly” government.
- The Japanese Mandated Islands and the Spratly Islands: The Soviet Government should be willing to have these islands stripped from Japan. The Declaration makes no provision as to their disposition.
- Other Territories Taken by Violence and Greed: It is to be assumed that the Soviet Government will be willing to support this commitment, and that it will interpret it as an obligation that Southern Sakhalin should be restored to the Soviet Union.
From this analysis, it appears that the chief advantage which the United States would gain from an undertaking by the Soviet Government to adhere to the Cairo Declaration would be a virtual pledge that the Soviets would attempt no territorial acquisitions in Manchuria. Soviet support of the Declaration, however, would not of itself stand in the way of Soviet efforts to set up “friendly” governments in Manchuria and Korea.
A commitment by the Soviet Government to adhere to the Cairo Declaration would need to be supplemented by a detailed understanding as to the course of action to be taken in the Far East and the Pacific by the Governments of the Soviet Union and the United States. Such an understanding would appear necessary to guard against possible Soviet attempts to set up “friendly” governments in Manchuria, possibly China as a whole, and Korea.
- Not printed herein. Text in Department of State Bulletin, vol. ix, p. 393.↩