The author would like to acknowledge the assistance provided by the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation in aiding the research on which this paper is based.
Diplomacy Interrupted?: Macmahon Ball, Evatt and Labor's Policies in Occupied Japan*
Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2006
Australian Journal of Politics & History
Volume 52, Issue 2, pages 188–201, June 2006
How to Cite
Matos, C. d. (2006), Diplomacy Interrupted?: Macmahon Ball, Evatt and Labor's Policies in Occupied Japan. Australian Journal of Politics & History, 52: 188–201. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8497.2005.00414.x
- Issue online: 13 JUN 2006
- Version of Record online: 13 JUN 2006
- Cited By
Historiography on the Australian political and diplomatic role in the Allied Occupation of Japan (1945–1952) gives disproportionate attention to the meetings between the Australian Minister for External Affairs, H.V. Evatt, and the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan (SCAP), General Douglas MacArthur, in Tokyo during 1947. These meetings are then linked to the subsequent resignation from the Allied Council for Japan (ACJ) of William Macmahon Ball, an Australian academic representing the British Commonwealth, and used to justify the claim that Australian policy towards Occupied Japan was unpredictable and ad hoc. This attention to Ball's resignation has distorted analysis of Australia's role in, and policies towards, Japan during the Occupation. This article argues that there is a need to develop a new historical discourse for the Australian role in the Occupation, one that moves beyond the intrigues of personalities and investigates diplomatic policy practice and its underlying ideals. This, in turn, may encourage other scholars to rethink the wider conduct and practice of foreign policy under the Labor governments of the 1940s.