740.0011 P.W. (Peace)/2–1247

Mr. George Atcheson, Jr .,65 to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur 66

eyes alone

My Dear General: In my talk with General Hilldring67 this morning he gave me assurances that no inter-governmental discussion of the details of a treaty with Japan will be entered into without full and prior coordination with you. There is a draft treaty, which I am to see, now in preparation in the Department of State but I am told that it has not progressed very far and has remained within a State Department committee without yet even having been discussed with any other Department of the Government.

General Hilldring states it is probable that at the Moscow Conference68 the Secretary will issue some statement to the general effect that the United States Government is willing at some future Foreign Ministers’ Conference to discuss the question of what machinery should be set up to prepare a treaty with Japan. This, however, has not yet been finally decided. General Hilldring feels, and I concur, that as a matter of procedure it would be far preferable when the time comes to undertake discussion of a peace treaty in the Foreign Ministers’ Conference and to keep it out of the Far Eastern Commission whose terms of reference make no provision for such discussion and whose character in general is such that there is little likelihood that discussion in that body would be productive of anything but delay and other difficulty.69

Very sincerely yours,

George Atcheson, Jr.
  1. Political Adviser in Japan, and Chief of the Diplomatic Section, GHQ, SCAP, on consultation in Washington.
  2. Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, Japan.
  3. Gen. John H. Hilldring, Assistant Secretary of State for Occupied Areas.
  4. For documentation on the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, held at Moscow March 10–April 24, see vol. ii, p. 139 ff.
  5. In telegram 85, March 11, 7 p.m., to Tokyo, the Acting Secretary of State informed Mr. Atcheson that the Secretary was expected to make a statement during the Moscow Conference along the following general lines: “The Government of the United States suggests that it would be desirable for the Council of Foreign Ministers to discuss at a meeting in the near future questions of procedure with regard to the preparation of a peace treaty with Japan.” (740.0011 PW (Peace)/3–1147)