Memorandum by the Secretary of State
The Japanese Ambassador made his first call since my return from Lima. After a preliminary exchange of courtesies, in which he expressed a desire to promote friendlier relations and to which I responded in suitable terms, he proceeded to congratulate me on the accomplishments at Lima. In thanking him, I said that he, of course, had observed I was preaching a broad basic program applicable alike to every nation in the world and that the Lima Conference adopted such a program; that an outstanding feature was the reaffirmation of the doctrine of equality of commercial and industrial rights and opportunities for every nation alike; that the United States Government naturally asserts and will in the future continue to assert this principle, its soundness and its application to every part and area of the world alike; that this is upon the deep-seated view that it affords the only basis for real commercial progress.
The Ambassador then said he had always entertained the belief that the progress of the Pacific area logically rested on friendship between Japan and the United States. I replied that this, of course, was a most important and wholesome view, and added that during the spring of last year when the Japanese Counselor was leaving for Tokyo I had said to him that I wished he would take back from me a message to his statesmen to the effect that some of these days his country and my country and other important countries would realize that there is room enough on this planet for 15 or 18 great nations like his nation and mine, and, when that realization occurred, the human race in the future would be ten times better off in every desirable way than it would otherwise be, and, of course, that the people of our two countries would be in a large sense correspondingly affected. The Ambassador nodded his head but did not comment to any substantial extent on this.
He then said he would like to see our two governments enter into definite understanding about the protection of all American rights and interests, in order that our two countries might go forward in the financial and economic development of China. I said that that was a very interesting suggestion; of course, that my Government pursues the broad and unrestricted policy of conducting its financial [Page 828]and economic activities in accordance with the principle of equality of industrial and commercial rights and treatment. I added that, of course, we are glad at any time to discuss questions arising, as a number have already arisen, pertaining to American rights and interests in China, and any other questions pertaining to the present industrial and trade relations between our two countries.
The Ambassador said that there was some question about the Japanese export situation to this country as it related to textiles in particular. I replied that I was under the impression that the present gentleman’s agreement entered into between representatives of the textile industries of our two countries constituted a fairly satisfactory adjustment of the cotton textile import question; and that as to one or two other Japanese imports, such as lead pencils, I was also under the impression that a sort of gentleman’s agreement still existed between our two countries without objection by either as to its workability. He then said that he was not yet sufficiently familiar with these matters to discuss them as he would like. I promptly replied that we would be glad to discuss this and any other points relating to the trade situation with him at any time.