The Ambassador in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 8—11:40 a.m.]
536. My 362, July 19, 3 p.m.,13 and my 532, November 7, noon, in regard to military and political situation and present peace talk. Situation of National Government after loss of Hankow and Canton is of course most precarious. Best informed foreign military opinion [Page 376] is that Government cannot hope to continue organized resistance on any effective scale for more than 6 months and doubt is expressed concerning effectiveness of guerrilla activities. The Government cannot hope to renew supplies of munitions or gasoline in adequate amounts after present supplies are exhausted. However, I doubt whether there is a leader of the National Government who could at present come to terms with the Japanese on any basis satisfactory to the latter and command sufficient prestige to carry the people with him. Such a peace, if made, would leave the Japanese still under the necessity of continuing hostilities on a fairly large scale and over a fairly long period of time to disarm the people and restore order, so that conditions under such a peace would not differ from conditions as they are at present.
Repeated to Shanghai, Peiping.