740.0011 PW (Peace)/6–2647: Telegram

The Secretary of State to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, at Tokyo


237. From the Secretary for General MacArthur: There follows for your info and such comment as you may care to make the text of [Page 465] instruction which has received careful consideration here in Dept and which we expect to dispatch to Moscow in near future:91

  • “1. As suggested in your conversations with General Hilldring in Dept please take up personally with Mr. Molotov at earliest possible occasion question of conference on peace treaty for Japan and give Dept as much advance notice as possible of date of your engagement with Molotov in order that similar conversations may be held in Washington with nine other interested powers.
  • “2. You should endeavor obtain USSR views on our desire to hold 11 power conference soon as practicable. You may inform him similar confidential conversations are being held with other nine interested powers in order to obtain such positive ideas as they may have on questions relating to drafting of peace treaty with Japan and that we would appreciate expression of Soviet views on question soon as possible. It is our idea also that other states at war with Japan should be given opportunity to present their views at drafting stage and that after draft has been sufficiently advanced it should be considered by conference of all states at war with Japan.
  • “3. In reply to questions which Mr. Molotov may ask as to voting procedure, you may state that this Govt is disposed to favor decision by simple two thirds majority but wishes to have benefit of views of other powers.
  • “4. For your info and for communication to Molotov at your discretion Dept is prepared to reject any suggestion of a conference limited to only four, five or six powers and to stand firm on our desire for a conference composed of 11 powers, namely those of the members of the FEC. An 11-power conference is considered preferable to a conference composed of nations represented on the Council of Foreign Ministers because: 1) such a conference would broaden the representative basis of participation to include all nations with a primary interest in Japan; 2) the thorny problem of Australian representation would be solved; and 3) the problem of arranging for consultation with directly interested powers in the course of drafting would be greatly simplified.
  • “5. For your info but not for discussion with Molotov at this time, although Dept prefers a voting procedure requiring only two thirds majority of the 11 powers, it would be prepared to consider provision for unanimity among interested powers if the suggestion came from a substantial number of the powers consulted and if the provision for unanimity could be limited to four powers—the US, USSR, China and UK or Australia. Dept believes that the extension of unanimity provision to include greater number of powers would be highly impracticable. In foregoing connection, there have been intimations from British officials here that British Govt would oppose substitution of Australia for UK as one of the vetoing powers but would be prepared to accept straight two thirds majority plan. In December we informed Dr. Evatt of our hope and desire that Australia participate on a full [Page 466] and equal basis in the formulation of a peace treaty with Japan but that it seemed natural to expect the Russians would insist upon a more limited group than the Far Eastern Commission for treaty negotiations and that it was therefore impossible for us to predict what final arrangements would be made for negotiating the treaty.”

  1. General MacArthur replied in telegram C 53694, June 29: “I am in full accord with suggested instructions.” (740.0011 PW (Peace)/6–2947) Text as quoted was sent as telegram 1422, July 7, noon, to Moscow for Ambassador W. Bedell Smith.