740.00119 Control (Japan)/9–645

The Under Secretary of State (Acheson) to the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Ballantine)

Mr. Ballantine: I have had the benefit of Justice Jackson’s views on this point.18 I wish that the Committee would consider the practicality of the following suggestions:

It is most important that there should be a unified prosecuting staff operating upon a single set of instructions regarding the preparation and presentation of cases. I think, therefore, that General MacArthur should set up this staff, give it its instructions and, if he thinks best, invite nationals of other Allied nations concerned to join it. Justice Jackson concurs in this view.
It is most important that the procedure and principles of the tribunal, as well as the definition of crimes, should harmonize with those adopted for the prosecutions in Germany. Would it, therefore, be practicable for General MacArthur to set up a tribunal of procedures, principles and definitions of crime closely following those adopted for Germany, state that this had been done, and ask the other principal United Nations involved to appoint judges? Justice Jackson’s opinion is that the difficulty of working out with the other nations concerned (China was not concerned in the European negotiations and therefore he knows nothing about difficulties which might come from the Chinese side) an agreement setting forth principles, procedures and definitions would not be too great or time-consuming although he believes that it would take appreciably longer than it would if General MacArthur took the steps mentioned above.

I incline toward the desirability of having General MacArthur do the whole thing, particularly as this preserves the principle of his authority and does not put us in the position of being the first to question them. I should like to know the Committee’s views on the suggestions which I have made.

Dean Acheson
  1. See memorandum by the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs, supra.