793.94119/446: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

810. I had no hesitancy in taking up informally with the Foreign Office the substance of your 466, August 20, 2 p.m., as in the conversation reported in my 770, August 15, 8 p.m., I had specifically said that I thought it would be most desirable to avoid giving the Chinese any impression that the British decision, whatever it might be, was not an entirely independent one. The same Foreign Office official this afternoon said that they agreed with that view and that they had had no intention of conveying any such impression to the Chinese Ambassador in the talk reported in my 791, August 18, 2 p.m., nor did he think the Chinese Ambassador had received any such impression. He produced a memorandum of the conversation with the Chinese Ambassador of that day and read me substantially as follows: The Chinese Ambassador was informed that the suggestion of his Government made through the British Ambassador in China had been [Page 271] very carefully examined here and that we had consulted with the United States Government in the matter. I told him that we had come to the conclusion that on the whole we concurred with the viewpoint of the United States Government that the present was not a propitious moment for inviting the attention of the Chinese and Japanese Governments to the standing offer of good offices. The Chinese Ambassador in reply said that personally he was of the same opinion and that he thought the time for again bringing forward the offer of good offices must be very carefully chosen.

I had not been informed until this afternoon of the fact that the Chinese Ambassador had personally concurred in the decision.

The Foreign Office has perfectly understood the nature of the statement made by the Secretary in his talk with the Chinese Ambassador at Washington on August 3.