Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The Australian Minister called at his request. He had no particular business except to inquire about the Japanese-American conversations. I replied briefly that the situation was rather critical on account of explosive domestic politics in Japan, and that things seemed to be coming to a head or to a showdown between the Konoye Government and the extremists, with the latter apparently gaining ground. I did not go into the details of conversations with the Japanese.

The Minister said that his country was sending three or four ships with cargoes to Vladivostok and inquired whether I could tell him anything about our own experience in shipping to Vladivostok. I replied that we have no understanding of any kind with Japan; that they had made some oral representations against such shipments and that I had replied that these shipments were based on law, on the Portsmouth Treaty,74 and on Japanese policy of insisting that we sell oil to them, and that, therefore, to refuse to sell to Soviet Russia through Vladivostok on account of Japanese objection would mean with perfect logic that we would refuse to sell oil to Japan in case Soviet Russia should object.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Signed September 5, 1905, Foreign Relations, 1905, p. 824.