500.A15A5/426: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Bullitt) to the Secretary of State

250. The British Ambassador who has just returned from London told me today that he had informed Litvinov24 officially yesterday that the British Government intended to call a general naval conference and that an invitation to the Soviet Government to participate in such a conference positively would be extended.

The British Ambassador stated that he had had many conversations with Vansittart25 and members of the British Cabinet with regard to the situation in the Far East and that he was certain that Great Britain would not intervene in any way to prevent the Japanese from extending their control over the whole of North China.

I asked him if British interests in North China were to be sacrificed completely, and he replied, “Nothing will stop Japan except war and we have no more intention of going to war with Japan than you have”.

  1. Maxim M. Litvinov, Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Sir Robert Gilbert Vansittart, British Permanent Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.