1947-08-27, English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: THE ENIGMA OF TOKYO. (27 August 1947)

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THE ENIGMA OF TOKYO. (27 August 1947)
 
Bookmark: https://trove.nla.gov.au/version/258333635
Physical Description
  • 1550 words
  • article
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Published
  • xna, John Haynes and J.F. Archibald, 1947-08-27
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • THE ENIGMA OF TOKYO. (27 August 1947)
Appears In
  • The bulletin., v.68, no.3524, 1947-08-27 (ISSN: 0007-4039)
Published
  • xna, John Haynes and J.F. Archibald, 1947-08-27
Physical Description
  • 1550 words
  • article
  • Journals
  • Magazines
Series
Part Of
  • The bulletin.
  • Vol. 68 No. 3524 (27 Aug 1947)
  • John Ryan Comic Collection (Specific issues).
Subjects
Summary
  • THE ENIGMA OF TOKYO. Listening to Dr. Evatt enunciating his policies is apt to produce a feeling that he has ceased to be one entity and become come antagonistic twins. The views which he expresses today are rarely those of yesterday; and because of this two members of his band of improvised diplomats have ceased to follow his fortunes. tunes. The Minister’s faith in the Security Council as an instrument for settling the unsettleable in Indonesia is a recent development. velopment. In November he said “The Security Council is in this appalling position, tion, that nothing can be done about a dispute that has come before the organisation sation ; from the beginning you know that nothing can be done about it.” Similarly, his eagerness to have the Soekarno-Sjahrir mobs recognised as a nation with the right to appear before the Security Council contrasts with his attitude tude last year. Then, seeing no prospect of a nation emerging from peoples who speak 60 languages, he invited the Netherlands alone to join his South Seas Commission. » It is, however, in his regular dragon hunts that Dr. Evatt’s dual personality is at its strangest. The dragons he slays usually have been dead for a long time, and are already hanging stuffed over the mantelpiece when Dr. Evatt seizes his trusty forty-five bore. Sometimes, as in Japan, he follows the example of the Iron Duke and picks off a beater. When General MacArthur took control of Japan the principles upon which he would administer it, both in relation to present events and to preparation for the peace treaty, were well understood. Indeed, after considerable sham-fighting at Canberra, the objectives and methods to be adopted were put down in black and white at a conference held in Washington ington in Octobcr-December, 1945. The agreement there arrived at was designed signed “to ensure the fulfilment of Japan’s obligations to the Allied Powers,” to bring about “economic reform” and to mete out “stern justice to war criminals.” Also it was decided to help the Japanese, within “the framework of a democratic society,” to “develop the means to bring them into permanently peaceful relationship ship with all other nations.” “The means” were set out in detail. They included the restriction of Japanese sovereignty to the main islands “and such minor islands as may be determined.” mined.” It was agreed that the people should be “completely disarmed and demilitarised” militarised” and “encouraged to develop a desire for personal liberties and fundamental mental human rights, particularly the freedoms of religion, assembly, association tion and freedom of speech.” The parties to this arrangement were Australia, Canada, China, France, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States. It was implied that all these nations should have a hand in the treaty-making, and the proceedings in the Allied Control Council showed that there was no tendency to stifle criticism of General MacArthur’s performance of the job assigned to him. Australia’s presidency dency of the Washington conference seemed a guarantee for this country of what Dr. Evatt has repeatedly demanded since, participation in the making of the treaty “on the highest level,” as a reward for “our all-out effort.” All this was accepted by everybody until May last, when Dr. Evatt apparently became a prey to doubts. This development ment was accompanied by the generation in Canberra of distrust as to whether the “Government’s” objectives could be assured without the conference of British Commonwealth nations now taking place on the Molonglo, and by strident objections tions to Japanese whaling and phosphates phates projects, sanctioned by General MacArthur. Taking pot shots at General MacArthur became a pastime of Dr. Evatt’s press friends. The P.M. felt it necessary to intervene with the declaration tion that whaling and phosphates were minor matters, and that Australia would never, never desert General MacArthur. Proceedings then began to follow a familiar pattern, the pattern of events in 1946. In that year, with a show of stem fighting, but with remarkable ease, Mr. Chifley and Dr. Evatt forced on the British principles of imperial defence which they had accepted for years but which the Chifleys and Evatts had opposed. Dr. Evatt went off to Tokyo trumpeting his intention to obtain for Australia the adoption of those views which had already been embodied in the Washington agreement. He was next seen arm in arm with General MacArthur; indeed his visit was marked by an absence of combat which astounded and delighted the American press. The only Tokyo character who retired hurt was Mr. Macmahon Ball. In blithe ignorance of the mood in which his Minister was coming to Japan, and emboldened boldened by the favor with which his baiting ing of General MacArthur and Mr. Atcheson son had been received, Mr. Macmahon Ball delivered a “sharp attack” on General MacArthur a day or two before Dr. Evatt arrived. Associating himself with the standpoint of the Russian General Derevyanko, yanko, and not for the first time, Mr. Macmahonßall objected to Mr. Atcheson’s comparisons between agrarian reform in Japan and Russia, adding, for good measure, sure, “If I seem critical it is not that the Supreme Allied Command does so little but that it claims to do so much,” He had made equally or more invidious remarks marks in this strain without incurring censure from his Minister, and no wonder he was staggered, to the point of resigning in a huff, by the cruel lack of appreciation of his effort by the patron who, in the words of the Chicago “Tribune,” bune,” had raised him, “an obscure Labor-party theorist,” to an “international tional figure,” Friends of Mr. Macmahon Ball in Japan must have been equally bewildered, if not so indignant, especially when they took into account some of Dr. Evatt’s activities in Japan and elsewhere. One was the demand in Canberra (and Moscow) that Hirohito should be tried as a war criminal. Remembering this. Dr. Evatt dissociated himself from the practice of visiting British and American diplomats by refusing to call on the Emperor, while announcing that he had been shown “irrefutable proof” by a “very high officer” that the Emperor shared responsibility for the war and should be compelled to prove his innocence. cence. Also remembered was the insistence of Moscow and Canberra on the building up in Japan of a “strong, great, free trade-union movement” —• Dr, Evatt’s own words. The Russians are naturally eager for this development. velopment. They are fully aware that Communism is the be-all and end-all of whatever trade-union movement exists, and that the development of tradeunionism unionism would most certainly provide the U.S.S.R. with a means of ruling Japan from the inside. According to Reuter, Dr. Evatt went out of'his way to make himself pleasant to the Japanese press. On arrival in Tokyo he expressed himself as “particularly larly anxious to meet leading tradeunionists, unionists, as he believed that the hope of democratic progress in Japan depends equally on the development of healthy unionism and education.” After seeing General MacArthur he made appointments ments with Katsumi Kikumami, president dent of the Council of Industrial Organisations, and with the Prime Minister, Tetsu Katayama. Two months ago the “S. M. Herald” correspondent described Mr. Katayama, yama, then about to take office, as “an admirer of the Nazis,” but Dr. Evatt discovered in his “social-democratic” leadership evidence of the manner in which the Japanese are reaching out towards wards Australian ideals of democracy. For some reason the meeting with one of these “democrats” was cancelled immediately after Dr. Evatt had seen General MacArthur, but the wandering Minister had a hearty session with Mr. Katayama, and spent “more than an hour” with Mr, Matsuoka, speaker of the Upper House and “leader of the tradeunion union movement.” With Mr. Matsuoka the visitor discussed “the history of the trade-union movement throughout the world, its present development in Japan and plans for the future.” Like the abandoned Mr. Macmahon Ball, who is returning with a chip on his shoulder, there are many who are mystified at the sudden evaporation of Dr. Evatt’s fighting mood after he reached Tokyo. Some American correspondents, pondents, according to Reuter, were content tent to believe that he had come “on a backslapping expedition” to reassure the U.S. Government. Others explained “his so-called blast” before he met General MacArthur as being “really directed against Britain,” claiming to have got the explanation from “an Australian”: With India and Egypt lost, Britain is inclined to forget everything except the Atlantic seaboard. The object of Dr. Evatt’s statement undoubtedly was to recall call to mind the fact that Australia is still a Dominion. There has been considerable reaction in Whitehall. It may be that thfere will be considerably ably more “reaction,” not only in Whitehall hall but in other quarters, before the present Canberra conference and the succeeding Washington and other peace conferences are things of the past. Those who make foreign policy their business or main preoccupation can scarcely fail to note the parallel courses which the thoughts of Canberra and Moscow are taking with regard to the Japanese monarchy and the institution of a predominant dominant trade-unionism or —in respect of the Indonesian business in particular— to mark the extent to which the A.C.T.U. is subservient to Moscow policies and Dr. Evatt’s policies to the A.C.T.U.
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