711.008 North Pacific/337

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

No. 2854

Sir: [Here follows review of negotiations on the Alaska salmon fisheries question since March 3.]

In concluding this report of our discussions here, I wish to record my considered opinion that, had it not been for the hostilities with China and the otherwise delicate state of Japan’s international relations, the arrangement just concluded would not have been possible. I cannot predict when or how the question of Japanese fishing in Alaskan waters will again be raised, but I cannot believe that there has been reached a permanent solution to the problem. On the other hand, the arrangement is, as I had the honor to point out in my 209 of March 27, 8 p.m.,21 a “Gentlemen’s Agreement”, and I earnestly hope that, while always on the alert to maintain intact the resources essential to the livelihood of a large part of the population of Alaska, our Government will, so long as the agreement is observed by the Japanese, aim to discourage the passage of legislation such as the Dimond Bill.

I desire to add an expression of thanks to the Secretary for the information contained in his 110, March 29, 6 p.m.,21 which relieved my anxiety that action directed at Japanese fishermen in Bristol Bay was contemplated. It will be appreciated that I could not afford to ignore a report emanating from the International News Service, presumably a reliable organization, stating in specific terms that both Houses of Congress had passed a bill which would allow only American citizens to fish for salmon in Bristol Bay, and that the bill was obviously aimed at Japanese. I happened to hear that the Minister for Foreign Affairs had also seen the report and shown concern over it. I shall call on him tomorrow to express to him appreciation for his collaboration in bringing about a successful end to the discussions, and I shall take pleasure in assuring him, on the basis of the Secretary’s reply to my enquiry, that the report of the passage of legislation not in line with the agreement just concluded is entirely without basis in fact.

Respectfully yours,

Joseph C. Grew
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