Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle)

Mr. Jesse Jones telephoned me this morning and we came down town together.

He stated that yesterday T. V. Soong had called on him. He wished to borrow some money for the Chinese Government. Through Warren Pierson,84 Soong stated that he had talked to the President, who had referred him to Morgenthau, and that Morgenthau appeared to be giving him the “run around”. Soong had not got to the point of discussing amounts or details though the sum of $5,000,000 had been mentioned.

At the same time the newspaper story came out in Shanghai that the United States was arranging a $100,000,000 loan to China. The newspaper men had tackled Jesse about this. Jesse neither admitted nor denied the story, saying that they had not yet had an application. He did this because he was not sure what the policy was to be; and in view of the Indo-China developments he felt that it might be well to allow the story to run as an unconfirmed rumor.

He then said that he had in mind offering a small loan—perhaps $5,000,000—to T. V. Soong now as evidence of our interest in the [Page 668] Chinese at this time. He wished to know what the policy of the Department on it might be. I told him I would find out and let him know.

A. A. Berle, Jr.
  1. Warren Lee Pierson, President, Export-Import bank of Washington.