Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Mackay)69

Participants: Dr. E. Stanley Jones
Reverend O. G. Robinson
Mr. O. K. Armstrong
Mr. Mackay

Dr. Jones, accompanied by Reverend Robinson and Mr. Armstrong, called at the Department at their request and were received by Mr. Mackay.

Dr. Jones said that he had recently conversed with Mr. Terasaki (First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy), who had offered comment in regard to American-Japanese relations which he (Dr. Jones) wished to make known to the Department; that, in brief, Mr. Terasaki had said that Japan, like any other nation engaged in a protracted war, is psychologically “abnormal” and a “little off” in its thinking; that as compensation for its great effort Japan must show some gain; that in fact, Japan is steadily growing weaker; that time is working in favor of the United States and that therefore, according to the “War Party”, Japan must strike soon; that the crux of the problem lies in what in effect is an American “embargo”; that within the field of commodities subject to restriction, petroleum is by far the most important item; that the “embargo” should be lifted at least partially to permit of peace-time trade; that the Japanese should be “given a chance to get out of China by themselves rather than be forced out”; that the Japanese “Peace Party” cannot make headway in the “atmosphere” created by the American “embargo”; and that if the Government of the United States would first “lift the embargo” Japan would then take its troops out of China voluntarily. Dr. Jones added that in making the above comments, Mr. Terasaki gave every evidence of being absolutely honest and straightforward.

Dr. Jones then mentioned his proposal that as a means of settling the Far Eastern problem Japan be given New Guinea, but said that he would not go into the details of the plan as his views had already been communicated to the Department.

Mr. Mackay thanked Dr. Jones for his previously expressed desire to be of assistance to the Department and said that Dr. Jones’ comments in regard to his conversation with Mr. Terasaki would be made known to appropriate officers of the Department.70

  1. Initialed by the Chief of the Division (Hamilton).
  2. The following appears on the file copy: “Note: On November 26 Mr. M. R. Shaw left with Mr. Mackay for inclusion in the files of the Department the attached copy of Dr. Jones’ memorandum of conversation of November 21 with Mr. Terasaki.” Memorandum not printed.