711.00111 Armament Control/2099

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Controls (Green)

Mr. Tswen-ling Tsui, First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy, called at my office this morning. He said that he had been directed by his Ambassador to call on me and to communicate to me informally a report which the Embassy had just received from responsible sources in China. The report which he gave me repeated almost verbatim the United Press despatch of February 25 from Tokyo in regard to the alleged employment by the Japanese of a corps of American aircraft engineers.

I told Mr. Tsui that it was my impression that the report was greatly exaggerated. I said that he was aware of the fact that American manufacturers of airplanes had ceased within the last six or eight months to sell planes to Japan. I pointed out that there were, however, contracts entered into before June 1938 by which American manufacturers obligated themselves to sell planes to the Japanese Government or Japanese interests, and that some shipments under these contracts had recently been made. I explained that it was customary when planes were sold abroad for the manufacturer to send to the purchasing country mechanics to assemble the planes and, in some cases, to give some instruction in their operation. I added that I thought that the basis of the report of which he spoke was the presence in Japan of mechanics representing American companies which had shipped planes to Japan in recent months.

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Mr. Tsui thanked me for my explanation. It was obvious, however, that he was not satisfied with it. He said that he thought it possible that, in addition to the mechanics of which I had spoken, there had been recently employed by the Japanese American engineers who were brought to that country for the purpose of superintending the manufacture of American types of planes to be manufactured under license.

I said that it was possible that American engineers might now be in Japan for the purpose which he had indicated, but that I had no detailed information in regard to the provisions of contracts which American companies might have made with Japan in connection with the manufacture of planes of American types in that country.

Joseph C. Green