Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The Chinese Ambassador called at his request. He took up the matter of securing passage through Congress of a bill to remove the Chinese Exclusion Act and establish a basis of equality of admission into this country in harmony with the treatment accorded nationals of other countries. He said that, while this arrangement would only permit one hundred Chinese to come in, it would establish a principle which would have a good psychological effect on the people of China. I replied that, of course, this Government, as the Ambassador well knows, is sympathetic with any measure on this subject that has any ordinary or reasonably fair chance of being passed by Congress. In other words, I said we do not desire to run the risk of misleading the Chinese and creating serious disappointment among them by publicly getting behind the proposal and representing that the measure has a fair chance of being passed by Congress when we know that its chances are not too good. Therefore, as true friends of China, we are keeping in the closest touch with Congress in the hope that some measure might be developed and passed which will be a step forward in removing the Exclusion Act.

The Ambassador mentioned a bill introduced by a Congressman from Texas,16 which he thought we might find it desirable to support, and accordingly he made a request to that effect. I replied that I would be only too glad to give every attention to this matter and I knew everyone in the Department would be glad to do the best possible in the circumstances.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Presumably a reference to H. R. 2942, a bill introduced by Representative Gossett of Texas on June 14, 1943 (78th Cong., 1st sess.), “to reduce immigration and to repeal the Chinese exclusion laws, to place Chinese on a quota basis, and to repeal the laws denying the Chinese the right to become citizens of the United States.”