Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Secretary of State

In the absence of Lord Halifax, I spoke over the telephone with Minister Campbell79 at the British Embassy, and said that in the event the Soviet Government should not agree that China sit in on the informal conferences on post-war security plans in accordance with my recent invitation to the four great nations, I most earnestly hoped that the British Government would be willing to sit in with the United States and China, and at another time, of course, with Russia and the United States, as was done at the Cairo and Tehran conferences.80 I said it would be a tragedy for enemy critics to charge that not even three of the great nations could even at this stage in the war sit down together and discuss post-war matters. The Minister said he agreed with me and would bring this especially to the attention of his Government. I said that Russia might prefer not to sit with China on post-war penalties for Japan at this stage.81

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Sir Ronald I. Campbell.
  2. For documentation on the conferences at Cairo, November 22–26, 1943, and Tehran, November 28–December 1, 1943, see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943.
  3. The Neutrality Pact between Japan and the Soviet Union, signed at Moscow, April 13, 1941, continued at this time in full force, though of uncertain effectiveness. Furthermore, reports indicated that relations between the Soviet Union and China were somewhat strained.

    Secretary Hull called the Chinese Ambassador on the telephone and made a statement similar to that made to Minister Campbell in regard to having China, the United States, and Great Britain meet together because of the Soviet Union’s relations with Japan. (Memorandum of conversation, May 30 [31], filed under 500.CC/63.)

    In further conversation on June 1, the Secretary informed the Soviet Ambassador that the United states would undertake to hold two separate conferences of three nations each, as at Tehran and Cairo, should the Soviet Union participation in the projected conferences (701.6111/1251).

    The Ambassador in China (Gauss) was informed of the Secretary’s series of conversations with the British, Soviet, and Chinese Ambassadors, in telegram 761, June 3, noon, which was repeated on the same date to London as telegram 4396 (500.CC/61a).