740.0011 PW (Peace)/2–2048: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Douglas ) to the Secretary of State 1

confidential

650. 1. On several occasions during past 6 weeks Foreign Office officials have inquired informally whether we have information on US intentions re Japanese peace settlement. To these inquiries we have replied without information re present US attitude.

2. Foreign Office officials handling Japanese matters tell us it still Foreign Office view that on balance early peace treaty remains most satisfactory way of dealing with Japanese problem. These officials reason if issue left in suspense Japanese public opinion will inevitably turn “sour”, pent-up Japanese criticism will then be directed mainly toward principal occupying powers (US and British Commonwealth), and prospects Japanese support of western democracies in struggle with Soviets will thus be impaired.

3. But while UK plainly feels early Japanese peace treaty desirable, we consider UK unwilling take initiative. In UK view initiative must [Page 665] come from US as principal occupying power and dominant force in Pacific.

Sent Department as 650; repeated Moscow 26.

Douglas
  1. Repeated in 64, February 25, 6 p.m., to Tokyo.