740.00119 P.W./11–2745

The Australian, Minister (Egglestori) to the Secretary of State
No. 517/45

Sir: I have the honour to refer to a report which appeared in the press on November 24th, that by order of the Supreme Commander [Page 1003] for the Allied Powers in Japan, five cyclotrons located in Tokyo and other Japanese cities, were being destroyed.

I have been instructed by my Government to enquire whether this report is true, and if so on what grounds such action was taken.

Australia, as a major belligerent in the Pacific war, has a deep interest in the question of reparations from Japan. Pending the development of appropriate machinery for the consideration of reparation claims, my Government feels that all practicable steps should be taken to preserve scientific and industrial equipment which Australia, and other United Nations which participated in the defeat of Japan, may wish to secure.

My Government is therefore concerned at the reports of the destruction of cyclotrons by United States forces. By arrangement with the Supreme Commander the advance party of an Australian Scientific Mission arrived in Tokyo in mid-November for the purpose of investigating the possibilities of securing cyclotrons and other scientific equipment as part of Australian reparations claims.

It appears, however, that if the report to which I have referred is correct, valuable equipment which would be extremely useful for scientific research in Australia has been destroyed without an opportunity being given to the Australian Government to express its reparations interest.

I have to add that my Government is anxious that there should be the fullest possible consultation, through the political adviser to the Australian Military Mission and the Scientific Mission in Tokyo, regarding the disposition of all scientific and industrial equipment, bullion and other goods which might have reparations value.

I have [etc.]

F. W. Eggleston