740.0011 PW (Peace)/7–847

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Northeast Asian Affairs (Borton)

Participants: Norman J. O. Makin, Ambassador of Australia
Alfred Stirling, Minister of Australia
Robert A. Lovett, Under Secretary of State
Hugh Borton, Chief, Division of Northeast Asian Affairs

Ambassador Makin called at his request. He stated that aside from wishing to make a courtesy call on the Under Secretary93 and expressing the hope that the cordial relations which had existed between Mr. Acheson and himself would continue in the future, he wished to [Page 467] raise the question of possible action by this Government in reference to discussions with other interested governments on the matter of procedures connected with the Japanese peace treaty. Ambassador Makin added that his Government hoped that no action would be taken by this Government until after the conclusion of the Commonwealth conference in Canberra which is called for August 26, and that he understood statements had been made to the effect that this Government would meet the Australian wishes in this matter. Mr. Lovett interrupted to say that he knew of no such statements. Mr. Borton also stated he was at a loss to know just what the Ambassador was referring to and that our Ambassador in Canberra conveyed to the Australian Government early in June our views that we are not yet prepared to enter into bilateral discussions with other nations on procedural or any other questions relating to the Japanese peace treaty, but that we hoped to be in a position to exchange views with other interested governments on the matter in the near future.

Mr. Lovett further stated that this whole matter was under active consideration by this Government and that such matters as the attitude of Congress and possible publicity that might result from Dr. Evatt’s visit to General MacArthur made it impossible for us to say that we would postpone action until any specific date. In answer to a specific question from Ambassador Makin as to whether such assurances could be given, Mr. Lovett again emphasized that we could assure them no separate bilateral discussions would be carried on but that we are not prepared to wait until the end of August to take any specific action.

H[ugh] B[orton]
  1. Mr. Lovett had succeeded Dean Acheson on July 1.