Lot 56D527

Memorandum by Mr. Robert A. Fearey of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs

top secret

Minutes—Dulles Mission Staff Meeting January 26, 10:00 A M1


Ambassador Dulles expressed regret that General MacArthur had placed the Defense members of the Mission in a separate building. It was his understanding that all of the staff had been assigned to help him and that the Mission was to work as a unit. It was decided that the Defense members would keep their offices in the Dai Ichi Building but that rooms would also be made available for them in the Diplomatic Section. It was further decided that use might be made of the Allied Council rooms for conferences with the Japanese at a later date.

General Mac Arthur’s Role

Ambassador Sebald read the attached memorandum2 indicating that General MacArthur did not wish to play an active part in the Mission’s work but only to be brought in if difficulties arose. Ambassador Dulles said that he had relied on General MacArthur’s judgment as to the type [Page 812] of peace which could be made, and that the proposals which he would be trying to sell to the Japanese were basically General MacArthur’s. If he failed he did not want to have placed himself in a position where it could be charged that the failure was due to the fact that General MacArthur had not been present to express his own views. His help was important particularly in connection with the bilateral. Do we get the right to station as many troops in Japan as we want where we want and for as long as we want or do we not? That is the principal question. General MacArthur said last June that Japan would give us this right and we have proceeded blindly on that basis. Any government which does give us such privileges, however, will be vulnerable to attack as having permitted a derogation of Japan’s sovereignty. Our proposal is going to be difficult to put across. General MacArthur’s influence is likely to be decisive; it is doubtful if the Mission can succeed without his help.

Ambassador Sebald said that General MacArthur had had a long talk with the Prime Minister a week ago and had told Ambassador Sebald that he had laid the groundwork for the Mission’s task.

It was agreed that Ambassador Dulles would not endeavor to persuade General MacArthur to change his conception of his basic role in the discussions, but he would want and need General MacArthur’s help.


Ambassador Dulles asked if there were any courtesies he should attend to, such as leaving a card on the Prime Minister. Ambassador Sebald said that there were not.

Non-Partisan Support

Ambassador Dulles said that anything the Mission did should have broad, non-partisan support so it could have confidence that agreements reached would not be repudiated after the treaty went into effect. Should he negotiate just with Mr. Yoshida? Ambassador Sebald recommended that Ambassador Dulles speak first with the Prime Minister and at that time ask for his suggestions on the matter. Ambassador Sebald thought that at some stage it would be advisable for Ambassador Dulles to talk with the opposition leaders. It was decided that Ambassador Dulles would tell Mr. Yoshida of the importance he attached to a broad basis of political support for the understandings achieved and see what proposals the Prime Minister came up with to meet this need. If the proposals were inadequate Mr. Dulles would tell Mr. Yoshida so and an effort would be made to evolve better ones.3

[Page 813]

Purpose of Mission

Ambassador Dulles described the purpose of the Mission to be to find out in very considerable detail what sort of treaty the Japanese are at least prepared to make with the United States. We do not want an agreement but we want to know we can get an agreement, that there is a genuine meeting of minds on all important issues. There should be a text with which the Japanese are familiar, one at least as detailed as the précis of the treaty handed the British, Australian and New Zealand Ambassadors in Washington.4 A United States–Japan understanding is the first thing to seek. If the U.S. does not deal with the British, for example, on the basis of a firm understanding with the Japanese they will raise all kinds of issues. If we have that understanding we can invite the British and others to come along and they probably will.


Ambassador Sebald asked whether we would want to keep our disclosures to the Japanese out of the press. Ambassador Dulles replied that we would not need to discuss general U.S. treaty concepts in much greater detail than they are set forth in the already published U.S. seven-point statement of principles.5 It would be desirable, however, to keep the bilateral as secret as possible We would not want to give the Soviets an excuse to say that we were going ahead alone, or to provide them with a pretext for invasion. Ambassador Sebald said that in that event it would be unwise to discuss the bilateral outside of the Government as there is no responsibility on the part of the opposition parties. Within the Government he thought it would be feasible to talk in confidence only at the highest levels, down to the rank of Vice-Minister. Foreign Office officials were more reliable than others and it might be possible to talk to lower officials of that Ministry. When General Magruder asked how we would then know that the Japanese as a whole accept what is agreed to, the reply was made that that problem would have to be discussed with the Prime Minister.

[Page 814]

It was agreed that it would be advisable to seek a meeting of minds on the broad principles of the treaty before taking up the bilateral with the Japanese Government. The procedure might be to discuss the seven-point statement of principles first, then the eight-point treaty précis, and then the bilateral. Ambassador Sebald suggested that Mr. Allison and he call on Mr. Yoshida the following day and hand him copies of the seven-point statement of principles and the tentative agenda6 prepared on the plane. Mr. Yoshida would then not have to come cold to his first meeting with Mr. Dulles, which might therefore be more fruitful. It was decided that this should be done.

Supervision of Post-Treaty Aid

General Magruder said that he had talked to General Fox about the question of possible post-treaty supervision of the Japanese economy and General Fox had said that such was not envisaged by responsible Headquarters officials. Ambassador Dulles said that if we give Japan post-treaty economic aid we may have to reserve rights in connection with that aid, but that we would not wish to put anything in the treaty on the subject. It was agreed that the Japanese might desire continuing advice from Mr. Dodge7 and others but that if they do they will ask for it.

Mr. Rockefeller’s Work

Ambassador Dulles said that one reason why he had invited Mr. Rockefeller to join the Mission was that he wanted it understood in Japan that we were not thinking entirely in military and economic terms but also hoped to strengthen long-range cultural relations between the United States and Japan.8 This was one phase of the Mission’s work on which publicity was actually desirable.

Press Relations

It was decided that Mr. Allison should meet with the press daily to provide such information about the Mission’s activities as could appropriately be revealed.

Meetings with Japanese Individuals and Groups

Ambassador Dulles said that he did not wish to have treaty talks with any Japanese unless the interview had been arranged through Mr. Yoshida. He did not want to appear to be going behind the back of the Government, or to give people an opportunity to report him as [Page 815] having said something different from what responsible Government leaders had pictured him as having said. His present mission was for the purpose of negotiating with the responsible heads of the Government, and he did not wish to see as many private individuals or groups as on his previous visit. This did not mean, however, that he would not wish to see a few persons privately, such as a personal representative of the Emperor. Ambassador Sebald suggested that the best procedure might be for him to invite a selected list of prominent individuals to a number of receptions at his house where they could meet Mr. Dulles under semi-social conditions. Ambassador Dulles agreed that this would be the best plan. It was further agreed that it would be desirable for Ambassador Dulles, or in some cases Mr. Allison, to see the Chiefs of the Missions in Tokyo of the nations principally concerned with the Japanese peace settlement.

Pacific Pact

Ambassador Dulles raised the question of what he could say to the Prime Minister regarding a Pacific Pact. He suggested that without going into any detail as to what such a pact might contain he might be able to use the idea of a pact as a selling point with the Japanese, He could point out that the liberal type of treaty which the U.S. envisaged was encountering considerable opposition from certain countries, but that the United States was prepared to go the limit in assurances to Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines in order to obtain their assent to such a treaty if Japan, for its part, would agree to the security arrangements the United States proposed.


Ambassador Sebald raised the question of whether Ambassador Dulles should see certain prominent purgees, such as Ichiro Hatoyama,9 likely successor to Mr. Yoshida as Prime Minister after a treaty. While noting that many observers believe that some purgees have the best knowledge of conditions to be secured in Japan, he recommended that Ambassador Dulles not see any purgees. Ambassador Dulles said that the occupation has put a pattern on Japanese life that is extremely artificial, and that he did not want to antagonize elements that are really very powerful. At the same time he did not wish to embarrass the occupation by seeing persons whom it had excluded from public life. No firm decision was reached on the question.

  1. The minutes of the Dulles Mission’s staff meetings lack the usual lists of participants.
  2. Reference is apparently to Mr. Sebald’s memorandum of his conversation with General MacArthur, January 16, p. 800.
  3. According to Mr. Fearey’s minutes of the Mission’s staff meeting held 10 a. m. January 27, Ambassador Dulles in part observed that the “… Versailles Treaty stigmatized the socialist government which signed it and provided the reactionaries with a platform on which they were able to climb to power.

    “The U.S. draft looks like a liberal treaty but already there are rumblings against certain of the territorial provisions. We do not want to crucify the party that makes the treaty. Perhaps we should inform Yoshida that we are unwilling to negotiate unless he creates a coalition group with whom we can deal on a genuinely non-partisan basis and whose participation will guarantee, as far as anything can, that the treaty will stick. While Yoshida may have been making efforts in that direction some open manifestation is needed comparable to the inclusion of leading Republicans in the delegation to San Francisco. If the opposition parties do not like the treaty let them say so how.” (Lot 54D423)

  4. This précis forms the attachment to Mr. Allison’s memorandum of a conversation held between Sir Oliver Franks, Ambassador Dulles, and other officials on January 12, p. 792.
  5. Of September 11, 1950. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, p. 1296.
  6. Undated, printed infra.
  7. Joseph M. Dodge, U.S. Minister and Financial Adviser to SCAP, 1949–1952.
  8. For further information regarding the views of Ambassador Dulles concerning cultural relations, see the editorial note, p. 825.
  9. Ichiro Hatoyama had held portfolios in several prewar cabinets. Removed from the purge list later in 1951, he became Prime Minister in 1954.