793.94 Advisory Committee/169

Memorandum by Mr. Raymond C. Mackay, of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, of a Conversation With the Counselor of the British Embassy (Mallet)

Mr. Mallet called at the Department upon invitation and was received by Mr. Mackay.

Mr. Mackay referred to Mr. Mallet’s call at the Department on June 19 at which time oral inquiry was made in regard to the “reaction” of the American Government to the invitation included in the resolution adopted on May 27, 1939, by the Council of the League of Nations, that governments represented on the Council and on the Far Eastern Advisory Committee furnish the Council with information in regard to the bombing by Japanese aircraft of civilian populations in China (see memorandum of conversation of June 1948).

In response to Mr. Mallet’s inquiry under reference Mr. Mackay stated that the Department has on numerous occasions announced publicly this country’s unreserved condemnation of the bombing of civilian populations from the air; that in July of last year the Department expressed to manufacturers and exporters of airplanes and aeronautical equipment in this country its disapproval of the export of aeronautical supplies to countries the armed forces of which are engaged in the bombing of civilian populations from the air;49 that American manufacturers and exporters of aeronautical supplies are cooperating fully; and that for the past six months no licenses for the export to Japan of arms, ammunition, or implements of war, including aircraft, have been applied for or issued.

Mr. Mackay also stated that the American Government has made repeated representations to the Japanese Government in regard to the aerial bombardment of American properties in China; that numerous public statements in regard to the subject have been issued by the Department; that the American press has with but few, if any, exceptions carried reports of bombings of American properties in China; and that, in view of the wide publicity which has been and is being given to the subject under discussion, the Department’s’ initial reaction is doubt whether a useful purpose would be served by the Department’s undertaking to transmit to the Council of the League of Nations such reports as may be received by it in regard to the bombing by Japanese aircraft of civilian populations in China.

Mr. Mallet indicated that he understood the situation thoroughly and that he was greatly obliged for the completeness of the reply made to his inquiry.

  1. Not printed.
  2. See letter from the Chief of the Office of Arms and Munitions Control, July 1, 1938, Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. ii, p. 201.