Memorandum by the Secretary of State
Memorandum of Conversation
Subject: China’s Desire To Be Represented at Allied Conferences
|Participants:||Secretary of State Hull and the Foreign Minister of China, Dr. T. V. Soong|
Dr. T. V. Soong, Foreign Minister of China, called at his request, having just returned from London. I inquired as to how he felt about the results of his visit. He promptly said that he thought they were good and that he was much encouraged by his trip. He stated that, while the British are not idealistic like the United States and some other countries, they did show a prompt disposition to discuss frankly and reasonably each and all questions that were presented to them.
Dr. Soong said that his Government feels that the four great nations largely directing the war should have their unity made a reality by taking China into the military and other conferences and that his Government is very earnest in this plea.
The Foreign Minister then said that he was most desirous to take up with the British the question as to their plans to open up the Burma area, primarily from the standpoint of China. He stated that the British had agreed to engage in certain further military movements, but he did not undertake to be specific as to just where and in what particular territory. Dr. Soong said that his Government felt very strongly that it should be consulted about any fighting with Japan, or plans for fighting with Japan. I stated that this question is one of a military nature and does not come within my function. He then requested me to speak to the President about these matters, especially about his Government’s desire that the Burma area be opened up, and I said I would be pleased to do so.
The Foreign Minister then said that his Government felt that it should be a member of the committee which deals with munitions assignments; that in Great Britain they are even proposing to take in some other European countries, including the French Committee of National Liberation; whereas China, one of the four large nations, is not a member.
Dr. Soong said off the record that he had secured an agreement with the Government of Canada to furnish China with 60,000 tons of munitions; that these munitions were not susceptible of use by the United States or Great Britain, but that Mr. Lauchlin Currie had prevailed on the Canadian Government to abandon her agreement by [Page 441] saying that China was in a confused state at present, et cetera, and that the Government of Canada had so informed him.1
I told the Minister that we looked upon China as having great potential strength and development, politically, economically, et cetera, and that that development is reasonably certain in the not distant future, and that, therefore, we are showing China every consideration at all practicable. Dr. Soong said that this was true, but that some other countries like Great Britain do not seem to have that idea.