740.0011 Pacific War/1302

Mr. Owen Lattimore 26 to Mr. Lauchlin Currie, Administrative Assistant to President Roosevelt 27

Currie: Generalissimo today telegraphed T. V. Soong, Hu Shih28 [to] consult President and Soviet Ambassador urging prompt simultaneous Soviet-Chinese declaration [of] war on Japan following American declaration. Coordinated Chinese-Soviet land action essential because only Soviet can attack both by sea and air and thus [this?] (is) key to joint land, sea, air war by all democracies whereas if Soviet hesitates Japan can fight democracies piecemeal. Even without Soviet, China unhesitatingly prepared [to] follow American declaration, but if China declared war without waiting for Soviet afraid Soviet may delay longer. Foregoing message additional to formal diplomatic proposals [for] simultaneous American-Chinese declarations [of] war on Germany, Italy, and Soviet declaration on Japan, because Generalissimo anxious [to] use every approach to [Page 739] Soviet, including Washington, in order [to] insure undelayed Soviet participation. Soviet Military Attaché hinted that [if] Soviet fights Japan America might not concentrate main effort in Pacific. Clear indication that American[s] will give priority to Pacific over Atlantic until Japan settled would undoubtedly bring Soviet in.

  1. American Political Adviser to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.
  2. Copy of telegram received in the Department December 13.
  3. Chinese Ambassador in the United States.