The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Kennedy )
350. Your 623, July 11, 8 p.m., especially penultimate paragraph. I believe that it would be useful for you, when next you see Halifax, to take occasion to say to him that your Government has indicated to you that it finds interesting the information that the British are considering a loan to the Chinese for support of currency and welcomes this indication of the line along which the British Government’s thought is proceeding. You should state that your Government feels that assistance of various legitimate types to China at this time should [Page 537] serve the best interests of the world and that much is being done in this country, some of it with publicity and some without, that is deliberately calculated to be of assistance to China directly or indirectly or both, and that broadening and intensification of such activities are in prospect. Say further, that we believe that a currency loan would be helpful to the Chinese; but we also feel that the making of such a loan jointly or collectively would tend to accentuate adverse Japanese susceptibilities and retard progress toward resolving the fundamental issue inherent in the Chinese-Japanese conflict; that we feel that the problem of assistance can best be dealt with by each country in accordance with its capacity and in its own way, without the disturbing implications of and the delaying complications inherent in joint action; that, moreover, numerous difficulties would attend the floating privately in this country of such a loan at this time and the Government is not in a position to make or to participate in the making of a loan by official action. We are giving and will give assistance along different lines. Some of these will not be conspicuous and will in large measure escape publicity. Well known, however, is the assistance which this Government has afforded to the purchasing in an otherwise unsupported market, of Chinese silver, a type of assistance which in all probability will continue. Substantial assistance has been and probably will be given through the agency of the Export Import Bank. Also, considerable amounts of money have been and are being given by private organizations for relief, medical work, and associated activities for relieving the suffering of Chinese civilian population. We are confident that within the limitations of our policy of non-interference and non-intervention the assistance which has been and which may be rendered by this country will in the long aggregate prove to be of very substantial value to the Chinese. We thoroughly believe that assistance by each country in its own way, without fact or appearance of joint action and with a minimum of publicity, will be most potentially efficacious towards the desired end of peace with stability. Please emphasize especially the point that assistance of that type and along those lines is being given and more of such is in prospect by and in this country.
You might in your discretion add, with special reference to Halifax’s apprehension regarding Hong Kong and regarding possible collapse of Chinese resistance, that in our estimates we consider not likely a Japanese attack upon Hong Kong while vigorous Chinese resistance continues and we see little reason now to expect or apprehend a collapse in the near future of Chinese resistance.