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Far Eastern Commission

Volume 416: debated on Monday 19 November 1945

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36 and 37.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1) if he will give an account of the progress of the Far Eastern Advisory Commission;

(2) on what grounds the U.S.S.R. has declined to take part in the work of the Far Eastern Advisory Commission.

The Far Eastern Commission met for the first time on 30th October, in Washington, with His Majesty's Ambassador as the representative of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The other countries represented in the Commission are the United States of America, China, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, France, the Netherlands and the Philippines. On 6th November, General McCoy of the United States was unanimously elected Chairman. I am glad to assure my hon. Friend that the Government of the Soviet Union have not declined to take part in the work of the Commission; on the contrary, discussions about their participation are going on between the Soviet Government and the Government of the United States. As Mr. Byrnes stated at his Press conference on 14th November, agreement had not then been reached. The United States Government have promised to keep His Majesty's Government informed of the future progress of these discussions. While they are going on, I am sure my hon. Friend will understand that I should not attempt to make a fuller statement.

Is not the real difference here that not only Russia, but also China, Australia and other nations want a control commission as opposed to an advisory commission; and in view of that, would my right hon. Friend represent to the United States Government—for we all have interests in the Far East—that it cannot be left to the will of a soldier, however distinguished?

I think I had better not enter into the merits of the matter, in view of what I have said.