Bishop James E. Walsh to the Postmaster General (Walker)37

My Dear Mr. Walker: Today we received word by cable that the …38 Government are now ready to send a trusted representative to discuss the terms of a projected agreement.

The man selected is the one who acted for that Government previous to the Disarmament Conference of 1922. We, however, still think it would be better if a representative went from here.

Of even more significance is the fact that the most recent statements from …39 are exactly in accordance with the plan which we worked out with those people before leaving their country. Their very statements [Page 18] are intended to indicate their consent. The harsh talk is for home consumption, lest that Government be supplanted by a group of Extremists. A bid for friendly settlement is being clearly made.

I have thought it might be helpful if Father Drought42 were to spend a week or so in Washington to remain on call. That Government has now given clear indications that a quick move along the lines proposed would be successful. Father Drought knows their plan and could interpret the day-to-day developments accordingly; whereas their moves may otherwise puzzle, or completely deceive, any one not previously informed of their true character.

These recent developments incline us to feel that we should at least stand ready to be of immediate assistance, if our cooperation is desired. But, for this, we will rely completely on your own judgment. I would be very grateful if, without taking the trouble to write, you would indicate your opinion by ’phone or telegram.

Very sincerely yours,

James E. Walsh

Superior General—Maryknoll
  1. Transmitted to the Secretary of State by President Roosevelt with his covering memorandum of February 3, which asked: “What shall I do next?” Original returned to President Roosevelt.
  2. Omission indicated in the original; probably “Japanese”.
  3. Probably “Japan”.
  4. Very Reverend James M. Drought, Vicar General of the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, known as “Maryknoll Fathers”, of New York.