Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State96

The Chinese Chargé d’Affaires97 called at my request. I gave him the substance of the Soviet Aide-mémoire received yesterday in regard to the proposed informal conferences on the peace and security organization to be held in Washington between the four large nations. I said that, in sending out the invitations some weeks ago, I made a most earnest plea to the British and the Russians jointly to agree to have all the four large nations sit at this conference together; that later when acceptance of this plea looked doubtful and when it appeared possible that the Russians might turn the whole matter down in an undesirable manner, I sent word to the effect that, in the event the Russian Government could not possibly proceed in conjunction with the other three, it say so, and that the United States and Great Britain would meet with China in separate conferences on the same subject. I added that, in its reply of yesterday, the Soviet Government stated that it preferred two separate conferences, as aforesaid. I said that I had cabled Russia and Great Britain suggesting a meeting between those two countries and mine on August second; that the whole matter in the meantime was being kept confidential. I stated that it would be necessary for us to talk over with the British the question of a suitable time for a meeting between them, the Chinese and ourselves; that it might be necessary to confer with the Russians so as to have everybody satisfied about the arrangements and programs with respect to the two separate conferences; and that the Chinese Government might think over all phases and let me have its suggestions. I said that I would confer with the British, who might desire to confer with the Russians; that in any event I would get all phases of developments as soon as possible with respect to both conferences. I concluded by saying that I deeply regretted that we could not have one single conference.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. The Ambassador in China (Gauss) was informed of the substance of this conversation in telegram 947, July 13, 4 p.m. (500.CC/7–1344).
  2. Liu Chieh.