740.00116 PW/9–545: Telegram

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

9099. From Hodgson. Due to reports released and published about American war crimes investigations in Japan and rapidly increasing newspaper inquiries about War Crimes Commission work regarding Japanese, Chairman of Commission stated at September 5 meeting that it was imperative that Commission issue press statement in order to avoid pending criticism. He proposed that Public Relations Committee prepare statement on September 6 to be considered by Commission on September 7. He also proposed that Commission consider releasing substance of recommendations in document C.145(1).14 It was stated by me that while some general statement might be advisable it was inadvisable and dangerous to make any statement referring to specific recommendations, names, or numbers of names on lists or similar matters until after occupation of Japan was substantially complete and until after Govts had received and considered recommendations in C.145 (1). Course followed by Commission [Page 919]in Europe as well as safety of military forces was used by me as basis of argument. Finally agreed that Far East and Pacific Committee of which Ambassador Koo, Chairman, should prepare general statement on September 6 to be considered by Commission on September 7. China and India supported my view that no mention should be made of names or numbers of names on lists or of recommendations contained in C.145 (1) and I believe no reference will be made to those matters. Draft statement will probably distinguish between functions of Commission and functions of the national offices, refer to Chungking Sub-Commission and mention that recommendations have been sent to governments without giving contents. [Hodgson.]

Winant
  1. Document quoted in despatch 217, September 1, supra.