711.94/1971: Telegram

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

247. Mr. Hornbeck’s strictly confidential letter to you of March 15 and your telegram number 330, February 27, 10 p.m. The matter described in the letter under reference has undergone further developments. In conversations which I had on April 14 and 16 with the Japanese Ambassador13 I referred to those developments and the Ambassador indicated that he was familiar with the matter. In these conversations we had a general discussion of the policy of this Government; I reviewed the principles which this Government regards as fundamental to sound international relationships and I mentioned the eight-point program adopted at the Lima Conference14 and the beneficial results achieved by that program.

As an outcome of the second of these conversations I understand that the Japanese Ambassador had in mind submitting to his Government a proposed basis of agreement with a view to obtaining authorization to present it to this Government. This proposed basis of agreement had reached the Department through the American official mentioned in the third sentence of the penultimate paragraph of the letter of March 15 above referred to. While I have made no commitment whatever in regard to any specific proposals, I made known to the Ambassador the willingness of this Government to consider any program which the Japanese Government might offer and which would be in harmony with the principles which I outlined to him for adjusting relations between our two countries and improving the situation in the Far East. With reference to the proposed basis of agreement, I added that from what I had been told of its contents we could readily agree on certain points, although some would have to be modified and others eliminated and this Government would wish to offer some additional proposals. I indicated also that, if the Japanese Government should earnestly intend to change its course, I perceived no reason why a reasonably satisfactory settlement might not be reached of the problems presented.

We are skeptical whether the Japanese Government would at this time be willing or be able to go forward with a program of the nature indicated.

Further information is being forwarded by pouch.

  1. See memoranda of conversations, Foreign Relations, Japan, 1931–1941, vol. ii, pp. 402 and 406.
  2. For text of Declaration of American Principles of December 24, 1938, see Department of State, Press Releases, December 31, 1938, p. 494.