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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 04, 1945

CABLE NO. 3523, STALIN TO CDES. MOLOTOV, BERIA, MALENKOV, AND MIKOYAN

This document was made possible with support from the Blavatnik Family Foundation

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    Stalin responds with edits to a draft reply to American Ambassador Harriman's note on the control mechanism for Japan. Stalin counters Harriman's claim that he had agreed to give Allied Supreme Commander Douglas McArthur final say in Japan, and rebukes Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Molotov for expressing unauthorized opinions in a meeting with Harriman.
    "Cable No. 3523, Stalin to Cdes. Molotov, Beria, Malenkov, and Mikoyan," November 04, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 98, ll. 0040-0041. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208877
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STRICTLY SECRET

Sent to [handwritten: Cdes. Molotov, Beria, Malenkov, Mikoyan, and the 3rd Unit].

CABLE

from SOCHI

sent at 0120 4 November 1945

arrived at the VKP CC for decipherment at 0245

4 November 1945

Incoming Nº 3523/sh

MOSCOW, VKP(b) CC,

to Cdes. MOLOTOV, BERIA, MALENKOV, and MIKOYAN

First. I received your draft reply to Harriman’s note about the control mechanism for Japan. It is unsatisfactory on two questions. First, on point one, you consider the name “Allied Military Council” acceptable, whereas, in my opinion, it is unacceptable since it limits the functions of the control body for Japan to purely military questions, while this body will deal with not only military, but also political, administrative, cultural, and economic questions. In addition, the name “Military Council” stresses the consultative nature of this body under MacArthur, which is disadvantageous to us. It would be better to name this body the Allied Control Council or the Allied Control Commission. Second, about point three of the draft, you avoid the question of the right of one of the members of the control body to appeal to his government if [he] disagrees with MacArthur on questions of principle with the goal of subjecting it to discussion between the governments. But avoiding the question doesn’t mean deciding it. This question was raised in a recent conversation between Molotov and Harriman and it needs to be resolved. Harriman [was] wrong in asserting that I agreed to awarding MacArthur categorical rights. I suggested inserting a change to your draft so that if one of the members of the control body disagrees with MacArthur on questions of principle MacArthur’s decision on these questions would be suspended until these questions were coordinated between the governments or in the Far East Commission.

Second. Now about the Far East Commission. It goes without saying that the Far East Commission should sit not in Tokyo, but in Washington or in London, closer to the governments or their diplomatic bodies. Therefore it is necessary to agree to Washington as the place of the Commission’s location. As concerns the voting procedure in the Commission it is necessary to try to get the unanimity of the four powers which signed the document about the surrender of Japan. The proposal about the majority of three votes of the great powers is a dishonest proposal, which has isolating us as its goal. The proposal about a majority of two votes is no better than the proposal about the majority of three votes. Molotov did not have the right to favor the proposal about two votes. Molotov’s manner of separating himself from the government and depicting himself as more liberal and more accommodating than the government is unacceptable.

Third. [We] ought not give Harriman the drafts of our proposals about the control mechanism for Japan and the Far East Commission before Harriman’s replies to Molotov’s questions are received. After receipt of Harriman’s replies it is necessary to again discuss our proposals and only after this can they be passed to Harriman. It goes without saying than [we] will have to pass Harriman both drafts together; however, I think that it would be better to hand them over not in the form of separate proposals, but in the form of changes to the Americans’ proposals.

STALIN

deciphered at 0315 4 November 1945. Four copies printed.

Khokhlov, Kozlov, Ivanov, Parshin

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