Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hamilton) to the Secretary of State
Mr. Secretary: Herewith another idea which might possibly be of constructive value in your discussions with the Japanese Ambassador. The proposal might cause Japan to feel that she was being given sufficient “face” to enable her to agree in good faith to remove all her troops from China.
At first blush the proposal may appear to represent “appeasement”. However, Japan would under the proposal sell to the United States ships which we very much need. Also, the sale by Japan of such ships to us at this time would mean a very practical step by Japan away from her Axis alliance with Germany.
The Australians and the Dutch would be perturbed by such a proposal, especially at first glance. However, it is also to their interest that additional shipping be made available to us and that Japan’s offensive striking power be lessened.[Page 615]
We would of course have to discuss this with the Australians and the British (and the Dutch if their territory should be involved) before making any mention of the proposal to the Japanese.
I send this forward in the light of your request that we explore all possibilities.
- In a memorandum dated February 5, 1946, Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Ballantine stated that, according to their recollection, “no action was taken” on this document and that “We have consulted Mr. Hull who, according to his best recollection, confirms that no action was taken on the memorandum in question and believes that it did not reach the President.”↩