740.00116 P.W./1–1746

The Secretary of State to the Australian Minister (Eggleston)15

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the Honorable the Minister of Australia and has the honor to refer to his note no. 4/46 of January 17, 194616 forwarding the Australian Government’s First List of Major Japanese War Criminals and proposing that the final determination of the list of accused for trial be handled by the Far Eastern Commission.

In the view of the United States Government, the function of the Far Eastern Commission in the matter of war criminals would be limited to the formulation of the policies, principles, and standards under which the war criminals in the Far East are to be apprehended, tried, and punished. It is not believed that the Far Eastern Commission would be the appropriate agency for the final determination of the list of the accused for trial in Japan. The location of the Commission in Washington and the type of personnel likely to be provided to staff its work would make it difficult for the Commission to undertake the detailed task of examining the evidence which would have to be sent very largely from Japan to determine finally a list of individuals to be brought to trial. It is rather believed that the International Prosecution Section of the Supreme Commander’s headquarters in Tokyo, now [Page 401] in the process of being internationalized by the addition of representatives of the governments of the signatory powers, including the Australian representative, Justice Mansfield, should continue its present task of gathering and assessing the evidence now available in Tokyo with a view to recommending to the Supreme Commander the list of Japanese war criminals to be indicted and tried before the International Military Tribunal to be constituted in Tokyo. In the course of these discussions the Australian representative will presumably bring additional information and the views of the Australian Government to the attention of the International Prosecution Section.

  1. Reported by the Department in its telegram 1423, February 12, 1946, 2 p.m., to London, for Colonel Hodgson.
  2. Not printed.