740.0011 PW (Peace)/7–1645: Telegram

No. 1237
The Acting Secretary of State to the Secretary of State
top secret

31. Mr. Hull asks me to send you the following comments on the draft statement1 calling on Japan to surrender:2

“To James F. Byrnes, Secretary of State—Confidential.

“I refer to entire document, and especially to paragraph 12. Its support by the heads of War and Navy and by the Under Secretary of State calls for the most serious consideration. The central point calculated to create serious difference is in paragraph 12 and relates to a proposed declaration by the allies now that the Emperor and his monarchy will be preserved in event of allied victory. I am stating this rather broadly but as the general public will doubtless construe it. The proponents believe that this step might shorten the war and save allied lives. The theory is that somehow the influences and persons who listen to the Emperor and his religion would fight and resist less hard and so save allied lives and shorten the war, et cetera, et cetera. Undoubtedly, if this undertaking should prove successful it would be still more appealing. The other side is that no person knows how the proposal would work out. The militarists would try hard to interfere. Also should it fail the Japs would be encouraged while terrible political repercussions would follow in the U. S. Would it be well first to await the climax of allied bombing and Russia’s entry into the war? Hull.”

  1. See vol. i, document No. 594.
  2. Byrnes, before leaving Washington for the Berlin Conference, had communicated the terms of the draft proclamation to Hull. Concerning Hull’s oral comments on the draft made at that time, see The Memoirs of Cordell Hull(New York, 1948), vol. ii, pp. 1593–1594.