711.94114 Supplies/7–1544: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Harriman )

1975. The Japanese response incorporated in Department’s 1708, July 15, was made public in an official Japanese radio broadcast on [Page 1182] July 13. The fact that a Japanese communication on this subject is now pending is, therefore, a matter of common knowledge in the United States. In reply to questions from the press and interested persons and organizations, the Department has confined itself to the statement that the Japanese response imposed certan additional conditions which must be met before shipments can begin; that those conditions concern the Soviet Government; and that said conditions are now being discussed with the Soviet authorities.97

The fact that a month has elapsed since the Japanese communication was forwarded to the Embassy for communication to the Soviet Government without an indication of that Government’s reaction having been received is a cause of serious and increasing embarrassment to this Government and, it is feared, will result in embarrassment to the Soviet Government. The United States Government is at present bearing the brunt of public criticism in the United States for the delay in forwarding supplies from a Russian port to Japan. Japanese propaganda broadcasts have made it appear that the Japanese are cooperating in the matter and that any delay in beginning these shipments is not attributable to them. As the tide of public indignation in the United States rises, it is feared that despite the efforts of the Department to divert pressure from the Soviet Government, resentment in the United States resulting from the present impasse will inevitably be transferred to the Soviet Government.

If you have not received a favorable reply concerning the additional Japanese conditions by the time you receive this telegram, please take this matter up again with the Soviet authorities, pointing out, in a way which seems best to you, the situation described above and endeavor to obtain an immediate response from the Soviet authorities, which the Department hopes will be one acceding to the additional Japanese conditions.

  1. For a press statement concerning additional conditions imposed by the Japanese Government for picking up relief supplies for onward shipment from a Soviet port, which were being considered by the Soviet Government, see Department of State Bulletin, August 20, 1944, p. 179.