740.00116 PW/7–2546

Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State ( Hilldring ) to the Legal Adviser ( Fahy )

Mr. Fahy: Within the past week Sir Carl Berendsen, Minister of New Zealand, and Sir George Sansom, the British Minister, have called on me separately to discuss the appointment of General Cramer4 to fill the place of Judge Higgins5 on the War Crimes Tribunal of Japan.

They both stated that the appointment of General Cramer is distinctly disturbing to their Governments, and they expressed the fear on behalf of their Governments that the addition of a new judge in the middle of the proceedings might be used during the course of the trials to discredit the findings of the Tribunal on legal grounds, or to discredit the Tribunal in the future on historical grounds. Sir Carl and Sir George did not request that the United States withdraw General Cramer from the Tribunal but they did wish the United States Government [Page 441] to know, and through me informed this Government, that their respective Governments cannot be considered as approving the assignment of General Cramer to the War Crimes Tribunal.

I should like to discuss this problem with you at your convenience and should in particular appreciate having your advice as to what action, if any, our Government should take in this matter.

J. H. Hilldring
  1. Maj. Gen. Myron C. Cramer, Judge Advocate General, U.S. Army, December 1941–1945; appointed as U.S. judge on the International Military Tribunal in June 1946.
  2. John P. Higgins, Chief Justice, Superior Court of Massachusetts, was U.S. judge on the International Military Tribunal from February to June 1946.