Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg to the Acting Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I am indebted to you for your courteous letter of August 22nd in response to my inquiry of August 7th. I am glad to read your authentic recital of our recent difficulties with the government of Japan. I am happy also to note that the purposes inspiring your notice to the government of Japan in respect to the abrogation of the Treaty of 1911 were deemed by you to parallel the purposes set out in my Senate resolution upon the same subject “though differing in phraseology”. The thing that concerns me—as “time marches on” under this six months’ notice—is whether one of these common purposes is in the process of evolution—namely, “the formulation of a new treaty”. It is my view—very respectfully re-asserted—that we could not justify summary action of any nature at the termination of the six months’ notice (if at all) in the absence of a vigorous good faith effort on our part toward “the formulation of a new treaty”. It is for this reason that I have taken the liberty of inquiring whether these efforts are under way and whether the government of Japan specifically understands that our desire for “the formulation of a new treaty” is at the base of our recent abrogation notice. I realize that negotiations of this nature are an executive function; and I would not wish to seem to be inviting any confidences to which I am not entitled. But I respectfully point out that your letter of August 22nd does not bear upon my question until it reaches the final paragraph, which contents itself with the general statement that my question “must be considered and will be considered in the light of all known facts and circumstances and of future developments”. I am unable to determine from this statement whether the government of Japan has been specifically invited to move in the direction of “the formulation of a new treaty”. I respectfully re-assert, my own opinion is that this is essential, and that a failure to preserve a clear record upon this point could easily precipitate a completely unsatisfactory status at the end of the six months’ notice. I renew my request for information upon this point if I am entitled to receive it.

With sentiments of great respect and highest esteem, and with warm personal regards and best wishes, I beg to remain

Cordially and faithfully,

A. H. Vandenberg