File No. 763.72/3483

The Minister in China ( Reinsch ) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram—Extract]

The decision of the Cabinet to break off diplomatic relations with Germany has been communicated to both Houses of Parliament and endorsed in both by a vote of confidence. I am informed the decision is to be made effective to-morrow.

Premier still maintains that no commitment as to further action has been made: …

The reports of the recent decisive deliberations of the Cabinet show that the action of the American International Corporation, causing the Chinese to believe that Americans could not be safely trusted, has been damaging to our commercial interests.2 But this handicap might have been overcome, if it had been possible to assure those who have confidence in our leadership of our Government’s readiness to do what it could to enable China to meet the responsibilities involved; but without any confirmation of even such general assurances as I reported in my telegram of February 9, 12 midnight,3 they have no cogent alternative to offer to those won over to Japan and have to let the decision go by default.

Reinsch