893.24/522: Telegram (part air)

The Chargé in Germany ( Gilbert ) to the Secretary of State

17. In a call which I made yesterday on the new Chinese Ambassador37 he somewhat clarified the statement of the Chargé d’Affaires reported in Embassy’s number 700, December 7, noon,38 concerning German munitions shipments to China by saying that while Germany was accepting no new orders old orders were still being filled in somewhat substantial quantities. He added that these shipments were customarily proceeding via French Indo-China.

I told him that I was under the impression that the Chinese Government had delayed his departure for Berlin and had indeed hesitated sending him in view of the withdrawal of the German “military mission” and the continued absence from his post of the German Ambassador to China. He confirmed that such was the case but that it had been finally decided that he come.

Aside from the value of Berlin as a political observation post it was thought he might be able to obtain further munitions and it was hoped an opportunity might occur to take advantage of the desire which still exists among German businessmen for commercial relation with China and also in a more general way of the rather prevalent favorable attitude toward China on the part of the German people.

Incidentally von Schmieden, Chief of the Far Eastern Division of [Page 738] the Foreign Office, conversations with whom I reported with some frequency last year, appears to be on some kind of an extended leave from the Foreign Office. I am inclined to believe that this is due to his being out of favor with Ribbentrop39 inasmuch as from my personal relations with him of some standing I discern that he is not fully in sympathy with the Foreign Minister’s Far Eastern policy.

  1. Chen Chieh.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Minister for Foreign Affairs.