740.00119 PW/7–1745

No. 1238
Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State
top secret

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation

Subject: Draft proclamation by heads of state

Participants: Mr. Cordell Hull;
Acting Secretary, Mr. Grew

I telephoned Mr. Hull this morning to tell him that a reply had been received from Mr. Byrnes to the message from Mr. Hull which I had cabled to the Secretary yesterday1 with respect to the proposed proclamation by the heads of state setting forth what unconditional surrender would mean to Japan. I read the text of Mr. Byrnes’ reply to Mr. Hull as follows: “I agree that the issuance of statement should be delayed and, when made, should not contain commitment to which you refer.” Mr. Hull said he was not sure what Mr. Byrnes meant by “commitment”. I replied that I would not have interpreted it as a commitment, but I thought what he had in mind was paragraph 12 of the proposed statement. Mr. Hull stated that he had thought that point over carefully—the political side—and he appreciated the other side as well. He thought, however, that we would have a very difficult time there, and that was the reason he suggested that we wait for other developments, to see if something wouldn’t happen. I replied that I understood his feeling in this matter and agreed that the issuance of the statement should be delayed.

Mr. Hull inquired whether I would send him a copy of the telegram I had sent to Mr. Byrnes transmitting Mr. Hull’s message, as well as a copy of Mr. Byrnes’ reply. I said that I would be glad to get copies of those messages off to him at once.

J[oseph] C. G[rew]