The Secretary of State to the Secretary of Defense ( Marshall )

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Dear Mr. Secretary: As a result of our meeting yesterday afternoon1 on the subject of the Japanese peace treaty, I am enclosing a Joint Memorandum to the President recommending that he approve the draft letter of instructions to Mr. Dulles which received the approval of the Joint Chiefs yesterday. I have signed this memorandum, and if you agree with it will you please also sign and forward it to the President at the earliest possible opportunity.

Sincerely yours,

Dean Acheson
[Enclosure 1]

Memorandum for the President 2

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You will recall that on September 8, 1950, you approved a Joint Memorandum from the Secretaries of State and Defense concerning the general basis upon which progress should be made looking toward a peace treaty with Japan. The Secretaries of State and Defense have now agreed that the time has come to implement paragraph 5 of that memorandum, which provided that after the initial discussions with the friendly powers “a United States political representative will go to Japan to discuss confidentially with General MacArthur the proposed treaty and by arrangements through and in cooperation with [Page 788] General MacArthur will discuss the proposed treaty with the Japanese Government and also seek a procedure for Japanese participation in the treaty-making process which will assure genuine acceptance by the representatives of all important, non-Communist political groups in Japan.”

It is recommended that Mr. John Foster Dulles, who has been conducting the preliminary negotiations concerning the Japanese peace treaty, be appointed by you as Special Representative of the President with the personal rank of Ambassador to carry on these negotiations: and to head a Presidential Mission to Japan for the purposes outlined above.

There is enclosed a draft letter to Mr. Dulles informing him of his designation and setting forth the terms of reference of his Mission. It is recommended that this draft letter be approved and transmitted to Mr. Dulles through the Secretary of State who, in cooperation with the Secretary of Defense, will take the necessary steps to implement this recommendation.

Dean Acheson

Secretary of State
George C. Marshall

Secretary of Defense
[Enclosure 2]

Draft Letter to Mr. Dulles 3

My Dear Mr. Dulles: I appreciate very much the splendid service you have been rendering in connection with our desire to accomplish an early Japanese Peace Settlement. In view of the importance of the series of negotiations which are now before us, I hereby designate you as Special Representative of the President, with the personal rank of Ambassador, with the responsibility for conducting, on behalf of the United States, the further negotiations which are necessary to bring a Japanese Peace Settlement to a satisfactory conclusion. In addition to the general guidance contained in this letter you will receive further instructions from time to time from me or from the Secretary of State. I know that you will keep me and the Secretary of State fully informed at all times of the course of your discussions.

In carrying out your Mission you are authorized to visit Japan and any other country and discuss with appropriate authorities and individuals [Page 789] the general basis on which the United States is prepared to conclude a peace settlement with Japan. In conducting such discussions, you will be guided by the principles laid down in the Joint Memorandum of September 7, 1950, of the Secretaries of State and Defense, and approved by me on September 8, 1950. I believe that, under the present circumstances, the United States should proceed with further steps to bring about a peace settlement with Japan without awaiting a favorable resolution of the military situation in Korea, I recognize, however, that a peace settlement could not come into formal effect except by normal constitutional processes on the part of the United States Government. This would give us an opportunity to control, in the light of existing circumstances, the time at which any peace settlement will become fully effective.

You should also, in carrying out your discussions, have in mind that it is the policy of the United States Government that the United States will commit substantial armed force to the defense of the island chain of which Japan forms a part, that it desires that Japan should increasingly acquire the ability to defend itself, and that, in order further to implement this policy, the United States Government is willing to make a mutual assistance arrangement among the Pacific island nations (Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Japan, the United States, and perhaps Indonesia) which would have the dual purpose of assuring combined action as between the members to resist aggression from without and also to resist attack by one of the members, e.g. Japan, if Japan should again become aggressive. In connection with this latter point, the United States Government should agree to this course of action only as the other nations accept the general basis on which the United States is prepared to conclude a peace settlement with Japan.

Your discussions will in no way involve any final commitments by the United States Government, and you will avoid giving any contrary impression. You should have in mind that, within the framework of the Joint Memorandum, approved September 8, 1950, and the general policy outlined above, our principal purpose in the proposed settlement is to secure the adherence of the Japanese nation to the free nations of the world and to assure that it will play its full part in resisting the further expansion of communist imperialism. Accordingly, you should feel free to make such recommendations to me or the Secretary of State during the course of your endeavors as will, in your judgment, best accomplish this purpose.

The Secretaries of State and Defense will provide you with such staff as you consider necessary and will arrange all pertinent details connected with the carrying out of your Mission.

  1. See footnote 2, p. 784.
  2. A photocopy of the original of this memorandum shows that it bears the signatures of Secretaries Acheson and Marshall and the handwritten notation “Approved 1/10/51 Harry S Truman.” (Lot 54D423: John Foster Dulles Peace Treaty File)
  3. The final text of this letter, signed by President Truman and dated January 10, is identical except for addition of the word “necessary” between “country” and “and” in the first sentence of paragraph two. (694.001/1–1051)