Memorandum by Mr. John Foster Dulles, the Consultant to the Secretary, to the Ambassador at Large (Jessup)1


In order to facilitate the discussion of a possible Pacific Ocean Pact set for 11:00 a. m., January 5, I have prepared the annexed comment on the draft already circulated.


Comment on Draft (1/3/51)2 of Pacific Ocean Pact

1. Parties: The proposed parties are the six nations having major island positions in the Pacific Ocean. The question mark regarding [Page 135] Indonesia is suggested by doubt as to whether it would be willing to come in. It is treated as a desirable, but not indispensable party. The “major island” formula excludes the UK. This is desirable to avoid possible complication with Hongkong, which the JCS feel must be excluded. Also, if the UK is included it would be difficult not to include France, with possible complications in relation to Indo-China. Query: Would the UK be sensitive about a pact which included the US, Australia and New Zealand and did not include the UK? Could this point perhaps be met by a Pact paragraph that specifically stated that nothing therein in any way impaired the ties and obligations of the British Commonwealth relationship in so far as Australia and New Zealand are concerned?

2. Article 1 is designed with primary regard to Japan. It may be undesirable to include provisions on human rights as a contractual provision in a Japanese peace treaty. But it would be appropriate as a “declaration” in a Pacific Ocean Pact.

3. Article [2] is a “declaration” as distinguished from the “agreement” of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.3 The language “dangerous to its own peace and safety” is taken from the Monroe declaration. The provision that action would be “in accordance with its constitutional process” corresponds to the provision of Article II of the North Atlantic Treaty.

The reference to “armed attack in the Pacific Ocean upon any of the parties” designedly includes the possibility of attack by one of the parties, e.g. Japan, upon one of the others. It is sought in this way to meet one of the two primary purposes of the Pact, namely to give sufficient reassurance to Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines so that they will consent to a peace with Japan which will not contain limitations upon rearmament.

4. Article 3 is designed to meet the second major purpose, namely the creation of an international framework within which Japan could create military force as part of an international security organization rather than merely as a national force. This would be responsive to what seems to be the preponderant wish of the Japanese people and their leaders and might make it possible for Japan to rearm without a head-on collision with the present Japanese Constitution.

Since Japan is not, and presumably will not soon be, a full member of the United Nations, the appeal to create UN units contained in the “Uniting for Peace” Resolution does not extend to it. (Perhaps the resolution could be enlarged at the next GA session.) However, the [Page 136] Collective Measures Committee set up under this Resolution is instructed in its work to take account of “collective self defense and regional arrangements”. Accordingly it is suggested that in the Pacific Ocean Pact reference should be made to this Resolution and the Collective Measures Committee, as this further plays up the idea that Japanese forces would be affiliated with the United Nations.

The Council has only authority to make recommendations.

5. Article 4 dealing with termination, relates only to the Pacific Ocean Council and not to the declarations contained in Article 1 and 2. These stand without any definitive terminal date. Article 1 embodies a basic principle upon which the United States society is founded, and therefore there is no occasion for us to contemplate its termination. Article 2 states a fact similar to that stated by the Monroe Doctrine and while circumstances might alter this fact, the mere lapse of time would not do so.

Two possibilities of terminating the Pacific Ocean Council are suggested:

United Nations action, presumably in the form of Article 43 agreements, which would adequately cover the field.
Action by Asiatic and Pacific members of the United Nations which might create a broader regional, collective security pact into which the present pact could appropriately be merged.

It is thought safe to leave the decision in these two matters to “a majority of the parties”. It would be unlikely that the other parties, who get more than they give, would want to terminate the pact so long as the United States was supporting it. Also, each party is given the right to withdraw upon one year’s advance notice. The theory in this respect is that in a pact of this sort continuing membership is of no real value unless it involves interested goodwill.

However, to meet the contingency that Japan might withdraw and thereby create a new and more dangerous situation, it is stipulated that upon receipt of any notice of intended withdrawal, the other parties would immediately confer to consider the situation thereby created.

6. In view of the fact that the substantive articles 1 and 2 are merely declarations and not agreements, and since the Council is merely a recommendatory body, it would not seem constitutionally necessary that the pact be submitted to the Senate as a treaty. It might, however, be practically desirable to give the Pact the added authority which would come from Senate ratification or Joint Resolution of Congress. However, the Pact is drafted so that it could probably stand merely as an executive act without any Congressional action at all.

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It may be noted that the Act of Chapultepec4 was cast in the form “The Governments Represented … Declare:” and this Act was never submitted to the Senate or to Congress.

7. In view of the inter-dependence of the Pact and the proposed Japanese peace, the United States should not become committed to the Pact unless it is assured that the other Parties will agree to the kind of a Japanese peace that the United States feels is necessary. This does not technically preclude a separate negotiation on the Pact, but practically there would be danger in dealing first with the Pact as public opinion in Australia and New Zealand might then treat the Pact as so assured that they would feel that they could, without jeopardizing it, revive a strong position against Japanese rearmament.

  1. Memorandum addressed also to Messrs. Matthews, Rusk, Fisher, Nitze, Labouisse, Allison, and Emmerson.
  2. See the enclosure to the document, supra.
  3. Signed at Washington April 4, 1949. For text, see Department of State Treaties and Other International Acts Series (TIAS) No. 1964, or 63 Stat. (pt. 2) 2241.
  4. Signed at Mexico City March 8, 1945. For text, see TIAS No. 1543.