740.0011 P. W./465: Telegram

The Counselor of Embassy in China (Butrick) to the Secretary of State

Following is confidential and is extracted and summarized from a letter to his trustee[s] dated yesterday by the person38 mentioned in my July 15, 2 p.m. to Chungking.39

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All indications are that there was violent difference of opinion in Tokyo whether (1), to accede to German wishes for further southward advance or attack Soviet or (2), to neutralize as best they can the growing American-British “menace”. Resolute action against Japanese aggression continues to be the best method of keeping United States out of Pacific war now or later, especially if action taken can be brought to attention of Japan’s masses, and thus correct the Japanese illusions of American political ineptitude, bluff and fear of war. It is necessary that we should be inexorable in declaring our intentions and putting them into action. Following up announcement of willingness to abolish extraterritoriality, suggestion is advanced that we announce our readiness to withdraw all our troops from China simultaneously with those of other powers, which course seems in harmony with Roosevelt-Churchill eight points. Person rather looks for Japanese peace proposals in October and expects Japanese to be in a mood for peace in China through mediation of President Roosevelt at some later date but expresses realization that there are many unpredictable international factors. Person emphasizes value of courteous firmness and resoluteness in dealing with Japanese.

I forward the above not because the ideas are new to the Ambassador or the Department but rather because they express the considered opinion of an American who has large interests at stake in this occupied area and who feels that the future of his country and his and other American interests will best be served by the course indicated.

Sent to Chungking. Repeated Department. Code text airmail to Tokyo and Shanghai.

  1. Dr. John Leighton Stuart, American president of Yenching University, at Peiping.
  2. Ante, p. 322.