The Adviser on Political Relations (Hornbeck) to the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)23

Dear Mr. Grew: With reference to my strictly confidential letter of March 15 and the Department’s strictly confidential telegram no. 247 of April 24, 7 p.m., there are enclosed for your information copies of memoranda of conversations which the Secretary of State had with the Japanese Ambassador on April 14 and 16.24 There are also enclosed a copy of the proposed basis of agreement25 mentioned in the telegram under reference, a copy of our revision of the proposed basis of agreement which we have entitled “Joint Declaration”26 and which was prepared as a tentative basis for a possible counter draft, and a [Page 174] copy of a memorandum27 setting forth the differences between the Japanese draft proposal and our revision of the Japanese draft.

We understand that the proposed basis of agreement was drafted by Mr. Wikawa, Colonel Iwakuro, and Father Drought, an associate of Bishop James Walsh, and that the Japanese Ambassador collaborated at a later stage.

We had seen an earlier draft28 which we believe was drawn up by Father Drought and Mr. Wikawa prior to the arrival in this country of Colonel Iwakuro. As between the earlier draft and the later one in which Colonel Iwakuro and Ambassador Nomura collaborated, there have been considerable modifications along lines less consistent with the program of this Government.

We have heard nothing from the Japanese Ambassador in regard to this matter subsequent to his conversation with the Secretary on April 16, and, as indicated in our telegram under reference, we are skeptical of the likelihood that this matter will be productive of concrete results.

In the meantime there has been considerable press discussion in this country of the suggestion that Matsuoka visit the United States. Roy Howard appears to be actively supporting this suggestion, which is described in his press as having great potentialities for bringing about an adjustment of the relations between the United States and Japan.

Should the matter discussed in this letter develop further we would of course, at an appropriate stage, expect to inform the British and the Chinese Governments.

Information on this subject continues to be treated here in the strictest confidence and it is therefore requested that the contents of this letter and its enclosures be made known only to Mr. Dooman and that no information regarding this subject in any phase be imparted to any other person.

Yours sincerely,

Stanley K. Hornbeck
  1. Notation on file copy by Dr. Hornbeek: “This letter is prepared and sent with full knowledge and approval of the Secretary.”
  2. Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. ii, pp. 402 and 406.
  3. Presented April 9, ibid., p. 398.
  4. Ante, p. 159.
  5. Ante, p. 154.
  6. Ante, p. 97.