740.0011 Pacific War/3439

Memorandum by the Secretary of State

strictly confidential

Memorandum of Conversation

Subject: Fuller Chinese Participation in Allied War Plans

Participants: Secretary of State Hull and the Foreign Minister of China, Dr. T. V. Soong

The Chinese Foreign Minister called at his request. I proceeded first to felicitate him on the splendid situation which developed at Quebec in relation to more recognition and more attention to the Far East in the war, including a plan to reopen the Burma Road. I said my felicitations go to him, the Generalissimo and Madam Chiang Kai-shek, who have labored so valiantly. Dr. Soong said that he planned to return home about the 20th of this month and that he would be pleased if I would bring him up to date on all matters relating to the war situation of interest to China and also any documents relating to the postwar situation. I replied that I would be only too glad to do so.

[Page 1240]

I then proceeded to give Dr. Soong the substance of our draft of a proposed Four Power interim or transition agreement.1 I need not repeat this analysis here. I said that very soon when some of its details were perfected and the matter was passed on by the President I would undertake to get a very confidential copy to him. I emphasized the supreme need for secrecy. He expressed his special gratification. He was also thankful to the State Department for the attention some of us have given to Chinese affairs and to the special requests of the Foreign Minister, during recent weeks in particular.

Dr. Soong then referred to his conversation with Mr. Lauchlin Currie some weeks ago about the 40,000 tons of munitions promised China by Canada and later revoked by Canada at the request of Mr. Currie. Dr. Soong thanked me for mentioning this to the President at Quebec and said that he followed this up with a talk with the President which was satisfactory.2

Dr. Soong then brought up two requests of his Government heretofore made, one, for China to be represented on the Combined General Staff with her member located here in Washington, and also the standing request of China to become a member of the Munitions Commission. At his request I said I would be glad to mention them to the President and Mr. Churchill this week if I am given a chance.3 He was very appreciative in each instance.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. See ante, p. 692.
  2. No other record has been found of a Roosevelt–Hull or Roosevelt–Soong conversation on this subject.
  3. On September 28, 1943, the Adviser on Political Relations (Hornbeck) informed Soong personally, as he had informed him by telephone somewhat earlier, that he had reason to believe that Hull had spoken to Roosevelt on this subject. See Foreign Relations, 1943, China, p. 133. The date of Hull’s discussion with Roosevelt has not been determined, and nothing has been found to indicate that Hull ever discussed the subject with Churchill.