793.94 Conference/219: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chairman of the American Delegation (Davis)

60. Your No. 24, November 10, 6 p.m. In this telegram we are not discussing your section 4.87

We much appreciate the lucid analysis of the possibilities contained in your sections 2 and 3.

Reference your second possibility, paragraph labeled (B). We agree with you that the present conference is not the place for such consideration.

Reference your third possibility, paragraph labeled (C). In our opinion none of the measures envisaged therein should be proposed by the United States. In any event we are convinced that, with respect to practically all of these measures, the United States would not be in a position to enter into an agreement with other countries for participation in carrying them out. However, if any of the measures are brought forward for serious consideration we should like to be informed and will then consider definitely our position with respect thereto.

Reference your first alternative. We are convinced that the conference should continue in existence for some time to come, although we agree with you that it would probably be impossible to keep the conference actually in session much longer. As you suggest, there are two possibilities of keeping the conference in existence: (1) through recess subject to call by the Chairman, and (2) through recess and the appointment of a committee. In either case the governments [Page 181]represented at the conference would stand by watching the situation closely and ready to comment upon it. In connection with the first possibility, we would like to suggest for your consideration that the conference be made subject to call not only by its Chairman, but also on request of a number of participating governments. We would like also to raise for consideration the question whether this procedure might not be more impressive than the appointment of a committee. With regard to the second possibility, we would similarly like to suggest for your consideration that the committee membership comprise the original signatories of the Nine Power Treaty, with the exception of Japan and China, and that the Belgian Foreign Minister and the diplomatic representatives in Brussels of the six other governments act as the committee.

Whichever method of giving the conference continued existence is adopted, we consider it of the utmost importance that (1) there should be no admission of failure in any pronouncement made by the conference, and (2) that before its adjournment the conference should issue a public statement in which there would be, as you suggest, an enumeration of the various efforts made and various proposals and inquiries submitted with a view to bringing out clearly the facts of Japan’s refusal, up to date, to collaborate in a search for peace. In addition, the statement should contain a strong reaffirmation of the belief of the governments represented at the conference in the principles and provisions of the Nine Power Treaty, as well as of their belief that these principles and provisions apply to this particular conflict; and a renewed declaration to the effect that the present conflict in the Far East is of direct concern and interest not only to the nations represented at the conference, but also to the whole world. There should also be an expression of determination on the part of the governments participating in the conference to watch the situation closely; to continue exchange of views for the purpose of keeping these principles alive in reference to the present situation; and to hold themselves in readiness at any time to explore with the two parties to the conflict all peaceful methods by which a settlement of the dispute on the basis of the principles and provisions embodied in the Nine Power Treaty may be attained.

The purpose of such a declaration on the part of the conference would be (1) to keep the door open for possible mediation in the Far Eastern conflict, and (2) to serve as a dramatic appeal to all peace-seeking nations, to be alert to existing and developing threats to international order and world peace, and to maintain the basic principles of peaceful international relationships not only with reference to the present situation in the Far East, but also in their broader bearing upon relations among nations in general.

  1. Beginning, “I feel that the above …”, p. 177.