Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hamilton) of Conversations With the Second Secretary of the Japanese Embassy (Kase)
Late in the afternoon of February 6 Mr. Kase of the Japanese Embassy called and left with Mr. Hamilton the attached statement in longhand66 which Mr. Kase said contained the substance of a telegram to the Japanese Embassy from the Japanese Foreign Office. The statement left by Mr. Kase was to the effect that according to a cable from Washington to a small newspaper in Japan, the State Department authorities had stated unofficially that the United States would do its best to deprive Japan of her mandate to the islands in the Pacific, in case Japan should withdraw from the League. Also that the League would probably confer the mandate upon another country and that if the League acts as the United States wished, the United States was quite ready to support the League.
Both Mr. Hornbeck67 and Mr. Hamilton told Mr. Kase that the newspaper report, as outlined by Mr. Kase, was nonsense. Mr. Kase was informed, however, that the matter would be looked into and he would be communicated with further on February 7.
On February 7 Mr. Hamilton telephoned Mr. Kase and told him that there was no basis in fact whatsoever for the newspaper article and that no official in the State Department had made any such statements as those attributed to State Department officials in the newspaper report. Mr. Kase stated that that was all the information that he wished.
In the event that Mr. Kase had inquired whether any comment at all had been made by officers of the Department in regard to the question of the Japanese mandates, Mr. Hamilton was prepared to tell him orally that naturally the press correspondents have at the regular press conferences made a number of inquiries in reference to [Page 749] this question and that the correspondents had been told that we were of course interested in the matter, we having been one of the Allied and Associated Powers; that Japan holds the islands under mandate from the League; and that it had been suggested to the correspondents that they obtain information on the subject from the League and/or from books which have been written on the subject. As Mr. Kase made no such inquiry, this information was not communicated to him.