740.00119 Control (Japan)/5–2246

Interim Directive From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur96

Serial No. 44

Arrangements for Release to Claimant Nations of Former Allied Vessels Captured by Japan

Employment and disposition of former Allied ships and water-borne craft of all types recaptured from the Japanese is subject:

[Page 231]

The State, War, and Navy Departments have approved the policy that the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) shall utilize fully all former Allied ships and water-borne craft of all types recaptured from Japan for as long as SCAP may deem it necessary for the discharge of his responsibilities with regard to repatriation of Japanese nationals and the maintenance of a minimum Japanese economy. Any Allied agreements on these matters will be negotiated on this basis.

You will note that this policy extends the principles of the directive on Employment and Disposition of Captured Japanese Merchant Vessels,* to provide that war and other public vessels and miscellaneous water-borne craft of all types as well as merchant vessels may be employed by SCAP on Japanese movements.

Relative to the disposition of such ships and craft when SCAP no longer deems them necessary, you are now authorized to release any former Allied war or other public vessels regardless of size (except a public merchant vessel) and all former Allied water-borne craft of any type of less than 500 gross tons direct to claimant nation where title to vessel is apparent, provided that an agreement with such nation on release of vessel or craft is executed which will provide adequate protection to SCAP and the Allied powers from any liability that may arise out of the disposition or use of such vessels or craft.

With respect to release of former Allied public merchant or privately owned merchant vessels of 500 gross tons and over, an agreement has been reached with the British Ministry of War Transport to the designation of the Combined Shipping Adjustment Board as the agency of SCAP to dispose of such vessels including action to protect the interests of SCAP and the Allied powers from any liabilities arising out of the disposition or use of such vessels.

The State Department will inform the nations who are members of the Far Eastern Commission of this directive.

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the State–War–Navy Coordinating Committee, with covering memorandum SWN–4327, May 22, 1946, for SCAP, issued under the provisions of paragraph III, 3, of the terms of reference of the Far Eastern Commission.
  2. Serial No. 9. [Footnote in the original; directive dated September 14, 1945.]