793.94111/111: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany (Gilbert) to the Secretary of State

14. The Chinese Ambassador called on me today and in the course of conversation brought out the following:

Von Neurath37 had again yesterday assured him of German neutrality. The only feature to his knowledge in which Germany was [Page 22] not entirely neutral lay in the tone of the press which undoubtedly somewhat favored Japan. His Government was “satisfied” however that the German Government was maintaining its neutral position: while Germany was selling arms to Japan it was likewise selling to China and moreover the German Military Mission, despite repeated Japanese protests, remained in China.

While one could not tell what “irresponsible” Japanese military elements might do, the Ambassador did not believe that Japan would attack Hong Kong. Even in such a case, however, he did not believe that Great Britain would take any military steps in the Far East until some understandings had been reached with Germany. Thus from a purely Chinese point of view he hoped for a British-German rapprochement and was anxious over apparent delays.

  1. Baron Constantin H. K. von Neurath, German Minister for Foreign Affairs.