Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Phillips)

The Chinese Minister called this morning and asked whether I could give him any information with regard to the reply which we had made to the recent communication which the British Ambassador had made on behalf of his Government with respect to financial assistance to China. I told him that we assumed the British Government had addressed a similar communication to the Chinese Government; that we had said in reply that we were sympathetic in general to the views as expressed, and that we welcomed the initiative which the British Government had taken in this matter. The Minister inquired in particular regarding the comments which we had made to the British suggestion that there should be a Chinese-Japanese “détente” before any substantial assistance could be rendered by outside powers. I replied that I had been a little uncertain as to the precise meaning in English of the word “détente”, since it apparently had a good many different synonyms, but Sir Ronald and I agreed that it meant in this case a lessening of the tension between China and Japan. In our reply to Sir Ronald we had made the suggestion that it might not be out of the way to consider extending help to China even before the “détente” could be brought about.

The Minister asked whether we had communicated the substance of our exchange of notes between China and the United States to the British and Japanese, to which I replied that I had given Sir Ronald the substance of this exchange and that I was going to make [Page 556]the same communication to the Japanese, but that I had not done so as yet. Mr. Sze seemed quite satisfied with these comments.

William Phillips