762.94/81: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Henderson) to the Secretary of State

279. Your 404, November 14, 2 p.m., to London,2 and Tokyo’s 232, November 13, 5 p.m. Litvinov3 told me the following this afternoon:

1. The Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs has admitted to the Soviet Ambassador in Tokyo that the Japanese and German Governments have signed a declaration calling for an international campaign against Communism.

2. The Soviet Government has also learned that a number of powers including Italy and Poland are being invited to adhere to this declaration.

3. The Soviet Government has additional information which convinces it that a further secret agreement has been initialled between Japan and Germany providing for cooperation and mutual assistance between those two countries in case either of them becomes involved in a war with the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Government is extremely surprised at the unexpected change of face on the part of Japan since it had felt that Japan was preparing to come to a full understanding with the Soviet Union with [Page 393] respect to all points of difference between the two countries. It believes that the agreements with Germany represent a further victory of the Japanese militarists over the Japanese Foreign Office. It is convinced that the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as the Japanese Embassy in Moscow had been working in good faith towards a Japanese-Soviet rapprochement.

Repeated to Tokyo, Berlin and Rome.

  1. Not printed; it repeated telegram No. 232, November 13, 5 p.m., from the Chargé in Japan, supra, with instructions to repeat to Berlin, Rome, and Moscow.
  2. Maxim Maximovich Litvinov, Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs.