894.00/773: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State

159. My 149, March 5, noon.

The friction between the Government and the political parties which flared up in discussions on national mobilization bill during the first week of March came to a head in the last few days. A special Cabinet meeting held late Saturday night March 5 was followed by a series of conferences with party leaders as a result of which both of the leading parties repledged support to the Government.
Despite the renewed assurances of the political parties on Sunday March 6 that they would support the Government, which has relaxed the political tension, the electric power control bill, one of the principal Government bills in the present session, was amended on Monday in the Lower House in a manner clearly unsatisfactory to the Government. Moreover the parties continue to use obstructionist tactics on the national mobilization law now in committee.
Efforts continue toward the early formation of a single national party on the basis of the existing groups. A majority of the leaders of the two principal parties, the Minseito and the Seiyukai, appear to have indicated willingness to support their parties’ identity in a single party, realizing that they have but two alternatives: either become a part of the single party or face complete extinction through the creation of an entirely new political grouping sponsored by the Government. Most observers are agreed that Prince Konoe would be favorably inclined to the leadership of the new party despite refusals in earlier stages of the development of the single party movement.