740.00119 P.W./8–1145: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant ) to the Secretary of State

2261. Reur White House Number 319.47 Immediately after receiving your message I met with Mister Attlee48 and Mister Bevin49 at 10 Downing Street. They asked me to forward you the following message.

“We have examined your draft. While agreeing in principle we desire to make certain amendments on the ground we doubt if it is wise to ask the Emperor personally to sign the surrender terms and therefore we would suggest the following:—

The Emperor shall authorise and ensure the signature by the Government of Japan and the Japanese General Headquarters of the surrender terms necessary to carry out the provisions of the Potsdam Declaration, and shall issue his commands to all the Japanese military, naval and air authorities and to all the forces under their control wherever located to cease active operations and to surrender their arms etc., as in your draft.

This is in keeping with clause 13 of the Potsdam Declaration. This we believe also will secure the immediate surrender of Japanese in all outlying areas and thereby save American, British and Allied lives.

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We presume that if we are in accord on these terms we should get the agreement of Generalissimo Stalin and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek.”

The Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary are standing by all night for your answer. Mr. Churchill telephoned me tonight. I feel you would be interested to know that this message is in line with his views. He believes that using the Mikado will save lives in outlying areas.

  1. See telegram of August 10, 3:45 p.m., p. 626.
  2. Clement R. Attlee, British Prime Minister.
  3. Ernest Bevin, British Foreign Secretary.