740.0011 P. W./7–1645
The Secretary of War (Stimson)
to the Secretary of
Dear Mr. Secretary[:] I am enclosing herewith the original and a copy for your files of a memorandum to the President relating to the conduct of the war with Japan. It relates to a subject which I think is of supreme importance at the moment, and I would very much like to see the President with you about it at your earliest convenience.
On another matter in which the War Department is greatly interested, namely the administration of Germany, I also have some thoughts which I should like to submit to you and the President. They will be in written form the first thing in the morning.1
- See document No. 849.↩
- For the other sections of this memorandum, see documents Nos. 732, 1212, and 1274.↩
Document No. 592,
printed in vol.
- Cf. the
following entry in Stimson’s diary for July 16: “… I also
received important paper in re
Japanese maneuvering for peace.…” The paper referred to
has not been identified. Concerning Japanese approaches
to the Soviet Union prior to this date, see
586, printed in vol.
i; cf. Millis, ed., The Forrestal Diaries, pp. 74–76.↩
i, document No. 594.↩
Stimson’s diary contains the following entries on the relationship between the warning to Japan and the successful test of the atomic bomb:
“[July 17:] I went to the ‘White House’ for a conference with Byrnes early in the morning. We first discussed methods of handling Harrison’s paper [document No. 1303]. Byrnes was opposed to a prompt and early warning to Japan which I had first suggested. He outlined a timetable on the subject warning which apparently had been agreed to by the President, so I pressed it no further.…”
“[July 23:] At ten o’clock Secretary Byrnes called me up asking me as to the timing of the S–1 program. I told him the effect of the two cables [see particularly document No. 1309] and that I would try to get further definite news. I dictated a cable to Harrison [ document No. 1310] asking him to let us know immediately when the time was fixed.…
“At eleven o’clock I went down to the ‘Little White House’ to try to see the President or Byrnes.… When I got there I found Byrnes out, and I asked for the President who saw me at once.… [I] told him that I had sent for further more definite information as to the time of operation from Harrison. He told me that he had the warning message which we prepared on his desk, and had accepted our most recent change in it [see document No. 1241], and that he proposed to shoot it out as soon as he heard the definite day of the operation.…
“[July 24:] At nine-twenty I went to ‘The Little White House’ and was at once shown into the President’s room where he was alone with his work, …
“I then showed him the telegram which had come last evening from Harrison giving the dates of the operations [document No. 1312]. He said that was just what he wanted, that he was highly delighted and that it gave him his cue for his warning. He said he had just sent his warning to Chiang Kai-shek to see if he would join in it, and as soon as that was cleared by Chiang he, Truman, would release the warning and that would fit right in time with the program we had received from Harrison.”