740.0011 P. W./192

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The British Ambassador and the Australian Minister called at their request. The Ambassador gave me the attached copy of an extract from a telegram80 received by him indirectly from Tokyo in regard to possible Japanese invasion of the South Sea area. The document is self-explanatory.

The Ambassador handed me copies of three despatches, which are attached,80 received at his Foreign Office in London from Tokyo, Moscow and Ankara, the latter two dated April 14 and the first dated April 15, in regard to the Far Eastern situation. He also handed to me an aide-mémoire81 relative to a possible joint or parallel declaration of the United States, the British Empire and the Netherlands with respect to the extent of injury or danger to their respective interests that would arise if Japan should undertake a military move south. I reminded the Ambassador that some months ago when Japan was threatening the Dutch East Indies I gave out a public statement to the effect that this country was not only very much interested in that area but that the interference with the Dutch East Indies by Japan would raise the whole question of peace throughout the Pacific area, and added that this was a much stronger statement than the one proposed now by the British. I did not concur in the idea of a joint statement such as is proposed but said that I would give thought to the question of a further separate and parallel statement.

[Page 137]

The Ambassador handed me a copy of an aide-mémoire82 relative to a cultivation of the Government of Thailand by the United States, as well as by Great Britain, with a view to weaning her away from Japanese influence, et cetera. I thanked him and said that, of course, this Government would do anything practicable about the matter, but that I am very much afraid that Thailand is at present in the clutches of Japan and that no one can tell when there may be a separation of these special relations.

The Minister of Australia handed me a graph83 on public opinion in this country, showing a trend toward willingness “to risk war with Japan rather than let Japan continue her aggression”.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Dated April 21, p. 134.
  4. Dated April 21, supra.
  5. Not reproduced.