740.0011 PW (Peace)/7–1147

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

Subject: Conversation on Japanese Peace Conference.

[Page 468]
Participants: General John H. Hilldring, A–H
Mr. John Carter Vincent, FE
Mr. Hugh Borton, NA
Mr. Alfred Stirling, Australian Embassy
Mr. Ralph E. Collins, Canadian Embassy
Mr. Wellington Koo; Dr. Shao-Hwa Tan, Chinese Embassy
Mr. Henri Bonnet, French Embassy
Mr. B. R. Sen, Indian Embassy
Jonkheer O. Reuchlin, Netherlands Embassy
Sir Carl Berendsen, New Zealand Legation
Mr. Joaquin M. Elizalde, Philippine Embassy
Mr. H. A. Graves, British Embassy

General Hilldring opened the discussion by stating that the Soviet Ambassador94 had been invited and was unable to attend but a copy of the oral statement which was to be made was being forwarded to him immediately. General Hilldring also stated we preferred no publicity on the matter, at least until after the governments concerned had had a chance to express their views and, consequently, were making the statement to them in confidence.

General Hilldring then read the oral statement, a copy of which is attached.

The discussion which followed General Hilldring’s reading of the oral statement brought out the following points:

Our proposal that the conference suggested for August 19 should be a formal conference but that it would have two stages, namely, that in which the deputy and technical experts would attempt to attain agreement on as many problems as possible, and a second stage in which the Foreign Ministers would participate and reach final decisions on the contents of the treaty.
A general peace conference would then be held of representatives from those states at war with Japan.
The problems to be discussed at the peace conference would have to be coordinated with decision taken at the Far Eastern Commission but, as indicated in the oral statement, the conference would be outside the Far Eastern Commission and its terms of reference would not apply to the conference.
As many procedural problems as possible should be solved prior to the August conference.
This Government proposed an August date for the conference in view of its desire for a treaty for Japan as soon as possible and the hope that the final phase of the conference in which the Foreign Ministers would participate would be as short as possible.
The position of the other belligerents in relation to the drafting of the treaty is a question which would have to be settled prior to the August meeting.


Record of Oral Statement on Peace Treaty for Japan95

The Government of the United States desires to hold a Japanese peace conference as soon as practicable composed of representatives from the 11 states members of the Far Eastern Commission, but such [Page 469] a conference to be outside the Far Eastern Commission. Such an 11-power conference is advocated because it would provide a broad representative basis of participation to include all of those nations with a primary interest in Japan. It is the view of this Government that other states at war with Japan should be given an opportunity to present their views while the treaty is being drafted and that after the draft has reached a sufficiently advanced stage, it should be considered by a general conference of all the states at war with Japan.

This Government further suggests a tentative date of August 19, 1947 for the convening of a Japanese peace conference. In view of the various commitments of the Foreign Ministers of the Governments concerned, it does not appear practicable to the Government of the United States to propose that such a conference be on the Foreign Minister level, so that it is envisaged that it would initially be composed of deputies and experts. The Government of the United States should be pleased to be host for such a conference in or near Washington or at San Francisco if preferred by other interested powers.

With regard to voting procedure to be adopted at such a conference, this Government is disposed to favor decision by a simple two-thirds majority.

The present conversations are being held with representatives of states members of the Far Eastern Commission in order to obtain such positive views as they may have on the various questions relating to the drafting of the peace treaty with Japan. This Government would appreciate an expression of the views of your Government on the points raised above and on any other questions concerning a Japanese peace conference. It is anticipated that your Government will wish to consider these matters prior to expressing its views, and, consequently, officers of this Government will be ready to discuss these matters individually with representatives of your Government as soon as it is convenient for you to express your views.

  1. Nikolay Vasilyevich Novikov.
  2. Text of this statement was sent by telegram to the 10 missions concerned and also to Tokyo, July 11, 8 p.m.