Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Castle)
The President telephoned me to say that he was being pushed on all sides in connection with the silver conference and said that he wished I would send for the Japanese Ambassador and bring the subject up with him again.
I told Mr. Debuchi that, although the statement in the papers that Dr. Wu49 had come to me to say that China was considering calling a conference was not true, I believed, nevertheless, that China certainly had the idea. I told him that we, feeling as we did, that the silver question was largely an Oriental matter, would feel compelled to send delegates to a conference called by China. I added, however, that I felt exactly as I had a week ago, that Japan would be able more effectively to hold a conference and to make the arrangements for a conference. In other words, we believed Tokyo to be the ideal place to hold such a conference. I asked him whether he had heard anything from Japan. He said that he had had very little except what he saw in the papers, that obviously the matter was being discussed in Tokyo, that Baron Shidehara50 was, he understood, very much in favor of [Page 616]having a conference, but that the bankers and the Finance Minister51 seemed to be opposed to it. I pointed out to him that the Times indicated that Mr. Inouye was, on the whole, in favor of it even though the bankers disagreed and he said this might be so, since Mr. Inouye and Baron Shidehara worked very closely together.
I told the Ambassador that I had asked him to come in because I wanted to be sure that he realized that China has apparently been thinking of calling a conference, that if Japan were also thinking of doing so it would be too bad if they delayed until someone else got in ahead of them.
The Ambassador said that he hoped to be able to have some information for me within two or three days.