Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control (Green)
Mr. Tswen-ling Tsui, Second Secretary of the Chinese Embassy, called at my office this morning. He said that the Ambassador, who was out of town, had requested him to call in order to ask my advice. He said that the Ambassador had just learned that the Japanese Government had closed a contract with an American manufacturer for 50 bombing planes. He wished to know whether I thought it would be wise for the Embassy to address a note to the Department, asking that everything possible be done to prevent the exportation of those planes.
I said that the Ambassador must be fully familiar with recent statements made by the Secretary and Mr. Welles17 in regard to the bombing of civilian populations and the sale of bombing planes to countries engaging in that practice. I said that he had undoubtedly correctly inferred from those statements that we were doing everything possible to discourage sales and shipments which would be of material assistance in the bombing of civilian populations. I said further that, in [Page 620] view of the many delicate questions involved and in view of the fact that we were already making every effort which we considered appropriate in the circumstances to carry out our announced policy, I did not believe that a note from the Chinese Ambassador on the subject of Japanese purchases would serve any useful purpose.
Mr. Tsui said that he would report our conversation to his Ambassador, and he expressed the opinion that, in view of what I had said, the Ambassador would decide not to take up the matter formally.
- For Mr. Welles’ statement of June 3, see Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. i, p. 595.↩