740.0011 PW (Peace)/1–348: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Smith ) to the Secretary of State 2


16. Note received from Foreign Office today transmitting copy Soviet reply to Chinese note December 53 on Japanese peace conference. Embassy translation text follows:4

“In answer your note December 5 on question of preparation peace settlement for Japan I have honor inform you that Soviet Government in its note November 275 stated in detail its point of view on this question. However, in view of opinion expressed by Chinese Government that Potsdam agreement does not contain in itself any clearly expressed provision whatsoever conferring upon Council of Foreign Ministers authority for preparation of peace treaty with Japan, Soviet Government regards it necessary advance several supplementary considerations.

“As is known, paragraph A of Potsdam agreement for establishment of CFM provides that ‘the conference reached an agreement for establishment CFM representing five principal powers to continue necessary preparatory work for peace settlements’. Further, neither in this clause nor anywhere in whole agreement is there contained any exclusion or limitation in connection with any of former enemy countries. In addition, Potsdam agreement provides that CFM for preparation of peace treaties will be constituted of representatives of those member states who have signed terms of surrender for appropriate enemy states.

“In conformity with this, in constituting CFM for preparation of peace treaty with Japan, there must be invited representative of China which as is known did not participate in preparation of peace settlement with former enemy countries of Europe.

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“As regards point of view of Chinese Government to effect that functions of Far Eastern Commission would seem to have direct relationship to peace conference for Japan, such point of view cannot be taken as having any basis since December agreement 1945 at Moscow with regard FEC not only does not include in functions of this Commission questions of peace settlement for Japan but on contrary especially stipulates (Paragraph II, B) that Commission will not concern itself with settlement of territorial questions which goes without saying constitute one of important constituent parts of future peace settlement for Japan.

“From what has been set forth it follows that preparation of peace treaty with Japan must be entrusted to CFM composed of representatives of China, USSR, USA and Great Britain as the states in whose names were signed terms of surrender dictated to Japan and whose special interest in questions of post-war situation in Japan was confirmed by qed [December] agreement 1945 at Moscow.

“With regard to other countries who contributed share to common victory over Japan and are members of FEC it is understood that for organization of preparatory work for peace treaty with Japan, attention must also be given to their interests.

“Soviet Government considers that this preparatory work could be organized by CFM through participation of other states—members of FEC in manner analogous that in which will be organized such work for preparation of peace treaty with Germany. As is known project for procedure in preparation of German peace treaty, a significant part of which at present, has been agreed to in CFM, envisages establishment of number of committees and subcommittees as well as informational consultative conference. Inclusion of above indicated states—members of FEC—in participation appropriate subcommittee in work of committees as well as appropriate subcommittees and informational-consultative conference, guarantees to necessary degree interests of these powers during period preceding peace conference.

“Copies of present note being sent simultaneously to Governments USA and UK. Accept, etc. Molotov. Moscow December 30, 1947”.

  1. Reported by telegram to Canberra, London, Nanking, Paris, The Hague, Tokyo, and Wellington; copy sent the missions of Australia, Canada, France, India, the Netherlands, Philippines, and New Zealand on January 22.
  2. Quoted in note from the Chinese Ambassador (Koo), December 6, 1947, Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. vi, p. 587.
  3. Similar views were conveyed on January 3 by the Soviet Minister for Foreign Affairs (Molotov) to the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Bevin); the British Embassy on January 10 transmitted the text to the Department.
  4. See enclosure to Soviet Embassy note, November 27, 1947, Foreign Relations. 1947, vol. vi, p. 580.