694.001/1–351: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Political Adviser to SCAP (Sebald)1

top secret

Topad 1000. Eyes only for Sebald. Dulles,2 Rusk3 and Allison4 had long session with Gen Bradley5 and Joint Chiefs today re future steps re Jap peace treaty and possible early departure Presidential Mis to Jap headed by Dulles. Joint Chiefs had before them Dec 13 ltr from SecState to Secy Marshall6 calling for JCS opinion on whether or not any objection from mil point of view to (1) seeking early conclusion of peace settlement with Jap without awaiting favorable outcome Korean situation; (2) discussing this settlement with assumption that US intends to commit substantial armed force to defense of island chain of which Jap forms part; (3) leaving Ryukyu and Bonin Islands under Jap sovereignty, subj to provisions of contemplated mil security agreement which wld presumably take special account of position in Okinawa; (4) exploration at this time of possible Pacific Pact.

On points 2, 3 and 4 above agreement was reached. Joint Chiefs agreed US intends commit substantial armed force to defense island chain and that it wld be useful at this time to explore with our allies possibility of Pacific Pact confined to island nations (Austral, NZ, Phil, Jap, US and possibly Indo), which wld have dual purpose of assuring combined action as between members to resist aggression from without and also resist attack by one of the members, e.g. Jap, if Jap shld again become aggressive.7 Joint Chiefs maintained former position [Page 779] that Ryukyu and Bonin Islands shld be maintained under US strategic control and Jap sovereignty not restored. State agreed that if this was Defense position it wld do its part in achieving objective. With respect point (1) on timing, there was considerable concern expressed on fol points: (a) Whether treaty shld be concluded while situation in Korea is still unresolved. (b) Whether or not early conclusion of treaty wld be provocative to USSR and whether any steps taken in that direction might increase likelihood of overt Sov action against Jap, particularly in Hokkaido.

With respect to point (b), Gens Collins8 and Vandenberg9 expressed opinion that views Gen MacArthur10 and PolAd shld be obtained whether from point of view of Jap security it was essential that prior departure Dulles Mis, with inevitable attendant publicity, steps shld be taken to reinforce US position in Hokkaido, either from Korea or ZI, with a view to forestalling any possible Sov move to occupy that area as result of Amer steps to accelerate peace treaty and possible rearmament of Jap. State’s view is that any preliminary action such as Dulles Mis which US might take is already discounted by Sov and wld not affect Sov timetable appreciably, and that it is of great importance from point of view of Jap public opinion and psychology that some early indication be made that US has not gone back on its earlier expressed intention to proceed expeditiously with a Jap treaty. State also sees disadvantage in delay which UK is using to take initiative from us in whole situation as indicated ur 1280, Dec 29.11

Request you consult urgently with Gen MacArthur, to whom Joint Chiefs are also cabling, with view to getting his and ur views before us at earliest possible moment. Shld you and Gen MacArthur believe it useful for you to return at once in order to make available to Joint Chiefs latest views on this situation you are authorized to do so and travel orders will be issued on ur request. In Dept’s opinion projected Dulles Mis shld leave within next three weeks if best results are to be achieved. Whether or not you deem it advisable to return to Washington, cable your comments on above. If you desire come to Washington, it is believed important that you return with Mis and be in Jap while it is there.

  1. William J. Sebald was also Chief of Diplomatic Section, GHQ, SCAP, and held the personal rank of Ambassador.
  2. John Foster Dulles, Consultant to the Secretary of State.
  3. Dean Rusk, Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs.
  4. John M. Allison had been Director of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs until September 12, 1950. Thereafter he worked under Mr. Dulles and received the title of Special Assistant (to Mr. Dulles) sometime in January 1951.
  5. General of the Army Omar N. Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  6. General of the Army George Catlett Marshall, Secretary of Defense. For the text of the letter, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, p. 1363.
  7. For more specific information on the type of Pacific Pact under consideration at this time, see the memoranda (with enclosures) of January 4 by Mr. Allison and Mr. Dulles, both to Ambassador at Large Philip C. Jessup, pp. 132 and 134, respectively.
  8. Gen. J. Lawton Collins, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army.
  9. Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force.
  10. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (Japan); Commander in Chief, Far East and Commander in Chief, U.N. Command.
  11. Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, p. 1392.