741.94/500: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State

1308. My British colleague has furnished me with a copy of a telegram which he sent to London August 25 of which the following is the substance:

In my conversation with the Foreign Minister about Anglo-Japanese relations he was more pessimistic than I have ever known him to be about the outlook. The only redeeming feature during the conversation which revolved around the old arguments was marked lack of enthusiasm on the Minister’s part whenever I mentioned Germany and that when I remarked that the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact was the basic cause of our troubles in their present phase he gave vent to a smothered ejaculation of acquiescence. When I expatiated at some length on the presence of the Japanese in Indochina the Minister listened attentively but made no comments. This however brings us no nearer to getting the Japanese out of that area.

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That these conversations will lead anywhere I have little hope but the Minister may eventually come out with something more constructive as he has twice suggested their continuance, and it is at least something to have induced the Minister to talk fairly freely.

In the present circumstances the lead must of course be left to the United States and I fully appreciate the importance of not crossing wires with them but as the Minister displays with me a marked inclination to regard America as an innocent victim of British machinations it is nevertheless my duty as far as possible to keep our end up. Beyond referring to the well-known capacity of the United States to paddle its own canoe I refuse to be drawn on this point.

My American colleague is being kept fully informed.

Early instructions are requested if at our next interview you should wish me to take any particular line.