893.515/432: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State

47. Department’s 30, March 2, 2 p.m. via Peiping.63

My British colleague64 called on me this morning and told me in substance and detail of Lindsay’s talk with Phillips and the developments in China and the approach to the Hong Kong bank which had led up to it.
Clive called on Hirota last week and told him under instructions from London that the British Government welcomed with pleasure the development of Sino-Japanese friendship. Clive states that he made no qualifying comment. He says that Hirota was very much pleased with this assurance and replied that for his part he would welcome the cooperation of the interested powers, especially Great Britain and the United States, in some constructive plan to help China out of her present difficulties. Hirota added that there was no question whatever of a loan from Japan and that in any case he did not think that a loan would solve China’s financial troubles. Hirota then described the present intention and efforts of Japan to develop better relations with China very much as he had explained them to me, as reported in my 43, March 2, 1 p.m.65
Clive told me that the British Ambassador in Paris had communicated to the French Government for its information and in general terms the British attitude towards assistance to China but in less detail than Lindsay’s communication to Phillips.
Furthermore, Cadogan66 had been instructed a week ago to sound out the attitude of the authorities in Nanking with regard to some plan for international financial assistance but with the careful avoidance of the term “consortium”. No reply from Cadogan has yet been received.
Clive feels that the success of any financial plan will depend upon the possibility of persuading T. V. Soong to modify his intense anti-Japanese attitude and upon his reinstatement as Minister of Finance.

Repeated to Peiping.

  1. See last paragraph of telegram No. 63 of the same date to the Minister in China, p. 547.
  2. Sir Robert Henry Clive, British Ambassador in Japan.
  3. Ante, p. 67.
  4. Sir Alexander Cadogan, British Minister in China.