Lot 54D423

Mr. John Foster Dulles, the Consultant to the Secretary, to the Supreme Commander for Allied Powers (MacArthur)

top secret

[Here follows a portion of the letter which did not deal primarily with regional security matters (printed on page 900).]

In Canberra I had a talk with the Prime Minister, a meeting with the Cabinet, and numerous joint conferences over a period of four days with Spender, the Minister for External Affairs, and Doidge, the Minister for External Affairs of New Zealand. Our initial talks dealt entirely with the question of a Pacific Island Security Pact since it was obvious that the willingness of Australia and New Zealand to accept the United States version of a Japanese Peace Treaty would be conditioned by the degree to which the United States would formalize its security relations to them.

Our initial discussions were devoted to the question of the membership of a possible Pacific Island Pact. Both Australia and New Zealand wanted it limited to a tripartite arrangement between themselves and the United States, while we urged the inclusion of the Philippines and the eventual admission of Japan, at such time as the latter would be in a position to qualify under the terms of the Vandenberg Senate Resolution which requires “continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid.”

Australia’s and New Zealand’s attitude on membership was influenced by their concern over public reactions to an “alliance” with Japan at this time and by the United Kingdom’s objection to the inclusion of any Asiatic nation without the inclusion of others. The United Kingdom, as you know, is unwilling to see a general pacific Island Pact created which does not include herself and yet, at the [Page 177] same time, does not want to join an island pact for fear of the effect of such action on the security and stability of her possessions on the Asia mainland. New Zealand, in particular, is very sympathetic towards this British attitude and is unlikely to take any action in opposition to it.

We finally agreed to draft a proposed treaty which would make no mention of membership and which would be so worded as to permit the inclusion of any number of states as and when such action became desirable and politically feasible. We made it clear that the United States might find it necessary to insist on the Philippines as a charter member and both Foreign Ministers indicated that, in their personal opinions, there would probably be no serious objections to such action. As yet we have no official indication as to British reaction to the inclusion of the Philippines.

A copy of the Draft Security Treaty which we agreed to bring back to Washington for consideration by the Government is enclosed with this letter. Since it has had very limited distribution here and since there has been no admission of its existence, I would appreciate it if you would consider it as furnished you solely for your own information. Certain features of it are discussed briefly below:


The second paragraph recognizes the United States’ commitments in Japan, the Ryukyus and the Philippines and is designed to tie this treaty in with those areas in the event that Japan and the Philippines are not initially members of the pact.

The third paragraph is a recognition of Australia’s commitments in Malaya and New Zealand’s commitments in the Middle East.

Article II

This is a quotation from the Vandenberg Senate Resolution and is included to facilitate ratification by the U.S. Senate.

Article IV

This is the meat of the treaty. The language is drawn from the Monroe declaration. While it commits each party to take action, (presumably go to war) it does not commit any nation to action in any particular part of the world. In other words, the United States can discharge its obligations by action against the common enemy in any way and in any area that it sees fit.

Article VII

Both Australia and New Zealand expressed a desire that the council and its subsidiary bodies be kept as small and simple as possible. They are particularly concerned that no large organization comparable to NATO be set up. The United States and New Zealand seemed to agree that the military portion of the council should be in Melbourne where [Page 178] the British Commonwealth Joint Chiefs of Staff are located, but Australia wanted it located in Washington, presumably because they want to establish contact with the overall military planning agencies located in the United States.

Article VIII

This article permits liaison and consultation with other states. Australia and New Zealand desired this in order to help overcome the objections of the United Kingdom to a Pacific Pact of which she was not a member. The last sentence is designed primarily to permit coordination in planning between the Pacific Pact and a U.S.–Japan Bilateral Pact until Japan can become a member of the former. This would also permit coordination between the council of the Pacific Pact and the United States in regard to Philippine defense in the event that the Philippines were not a charter member. Also, Australia wants some liaison with NATO.

Article X

Australia and New Zealand desired a twenty year treaty while we desired no mention of the duration. It may be necessary to include a clause specifically authorizing denunciation of the treaty although withdrawal from the council can be interpreted as, in effect, accomplishing denunciation.

[Here follows a discussion of Japanese peace treaty matters unrelated to security (printed on page 902).]