Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control (Yost)

Mr. Leighton Rogers, President of the Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce, called this afternoon to discuss further the steps taken by his organization to prevent the export of aircraft and aircraft parts to countries engaged in the bombing of civilian populations.

Mr. Rogers said that he believed that about ninety-five percent of the companies in the industry were prepared to cooperate with the Department in carrying out the policy voiced by the Secretary on June 11.20 He said that a few manufacturers, however, would probably desire to continue to export to Japan small quantities of aircraft engines, propellers, and other parts to be used as replacements on commercial airlines in Japan which these companies had been supplying over a long period of years. Mr. Rogers expressed the hope that the Department would see fit for the present not to protest against small shipments of replacement parts which were obviously to be used on commercial airlines only.

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I replied that the Department could not, of course, prevent exports of aircraft and aircraft parts to Japan and that it limited itself to reiterating to persons who made application for export licenses the terms of the Secretary’s statement of June 11 and the Department’s letter of July l.21 I added that we were currently issuing licenses for very small quantities of replacement parts and would not be unduly alarmed if an occasional application for such a license were presented to us, but that, if such shipments should increase in ensuing months, it would, of course, give rise to the presumption that the industry was not observing the Secretary’s policy.

C[harles] W. Y[ost]
  1. See telegram No. 192, June 11, 2 p.m., to the Ambassador in Japan, p. 617.
  2. For text of letter, see Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. ii, p. 201. The Secretary had submitted draft of letter on June 16 to President Roosevelt for approval; the following notation was made by the President: “CH OK FDR”. (700.00116/375)