790.5/2–251: Telegram

The United States Political Adviser to SCAP (Sebald) to the Secretary of State

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1492. For Rusk from Dulles. Reurtel 1199, January 31.1 Concur in treatment suggested paragraphs 1 and 2. In general, believe should adhere to [?] attitude. British Ambassador2 today read following statement3 as view of British Chiefs of Staff on possible Pacific Island arrangement:

Advantages: (a) It would be undeniable advantage as giving assurance to Australia and New Zealand of United States protection but we consider that could be obtained without resorting to elaborate machinery of Pacific Defense Council.

(b) Proposal might in time be used, by widening the membership of the council, as step towards our long term military aims of a regional defense pact.

(c) Proposal might help counteract charges of imperialism against the United States.

Disadvantages: (a) From standpoint of United Kingdom’s position as world power, proposal would be interpreted in Pacific and elsewhere as renunciation of responsibilities and possibly as evidence of [Page 144] rift in policy between UK and United States. There would undoubtedly be grave repercussions in Hong Kong and Malaya.

(b) Present time exclusion of the Asiatic mainland countries would encourage Communist aggression against Malaya, Indochina, Burma and Siam.

(c) Any attempt towards initiating regional defense pact by widening membership of Defense Council would be premature at present as Asiatic countries not ready for it now and the powers concerned would not provide forces to make such a pact effective. Therefore, conclusions at which the Chiefs of Staff have now arrived are as follows:

In the short term, proposals for the Defense Council in their present form are not acceptable. But should conditions in non-Communist Asiatic countries become more stabilized, more representative consultative Pacific Defense Council might be useful first step towards regional defense pact.

Also read following as view of Foreign Office:

“We feel strongly opposed to idea of a Pacific defense organization which would exclude the United Kingdom.”4

Dulles stated in response that area under consideration was the island chain of Aleutians, Japan, Ryukyus, Philippines, Indonesia if she wished to be considered part of chain, Australia, and New Zealand. This was a chain composed of links so interconnected that an attack on one link would jeopardize entire chain. No UK territory formed link in this particular chain. However, we recognized UK had Commonwealth concern in security of Australia and New Zealand and on this account, and if disposed to contribute sea and air power to defense of chain, UK might be an appropriate charter member of any consultative group. We would not, however, now be disposed to enlarge the area beyond the offshore island chain or include Hong Kong, Malaya or other mainland areas.5

Dulles emphasized purely personal tentative character of his thinking as above expressed, and stated that he had not discussed this with government before his departure. [Dulles.]

  1. Supra.
  2. Sir Alvary Gascoigne, Political Representative of the British Liaison Mission to SCAP, with the personal rank of Ambassador.
  3. For additional information, see the memorandum concerning a conversation between Sir Alvary and Mr. Dulles, February 2, p. 842.
  4. In the memorandum cited in footnote 3 above, the relevant passage reads as follows: “This is from the Foreign Office, not from His Majesty’s Government, but the Foreign Office and myself. I give it to you personally and informally.

    “We feel strongly opposed to the idea of a Pacific Defense Organization which would exclude the United Kingdom, and I would stress that most emphatically to you, sir.”

  5. In a memorandum of this conversation held February 2, Mr. Robert A. Fearey of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs reported in part: “Sir Alvary replied that he understood completely and appreciated that what we had in mind was an off-shore pact, but that exclusion of the UK would have immediate repercussions in Malaya and Hong Kong and he could not help feeling that the UK would want to be included ‘in the first phase’.” (Tokyo Post Files: 320.1 Peace Treaty)