793.94119/380: Telegram

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

25. Our 23, January 12, 11 p.m. We obtained today in strict confidence from the Foreign Office certain information which may be helpful in putting into some intelligible relationship the discussions with China of terms of peace and the holding of the Imperial Conference.

The agenda of the Imperial Conference was prepared after several weeks of intensive discussion between the Government and the Imperial Headquarters. The underlying purpose in holding the Imperial Conference was, by obtaining the approval of the Emperor for the basis on which peace could be reestablished, to make impossible further disputation over what these terms should be and thus to consolidate national thought and sentiment.
The holding of the Imperial Conference on the day following the call by the German Ambassador on the Minister for Foreign Affairs reportedly to communicate the Chinese reply to the Japanese peace terms was purely accidental. Have assurances the message which the German Ambassador delivered can not be regarded as a “Chinese reply”. That reply is still being awaited.
The Imperial Conference did not so far as our informant (who is a highly responsible official) is aware discuss any matter relating to future procedure or action. He said “I hope the Embassy is not making the mistake of emphasizing the possibility of war beings declared”.

Repeated to Peiping for relay to Johnson.