740.00119 P.W./8–945

Memorandum by the Acting Director of the Office of Strategic Services (Magruder) to the Secretary of State

The following is the substance of a message dated 8 August from Mr. Allen Dulles, Chief of the OSS mission in Wiesbaden. The information contained in this message is a sequel to memoranda dated 13, 16, and 18 July, and 2 August, concerning a Japanese attempt to approach Allied authorities through OSS representatives.

Per Jacobsson, a Swedish national and economic adviser to the Bank for International Settlements, has transmitted the following information to Mr. Dulles through an intermediary:

Kojiro Kitamura, director of the Bank for International Settlements and former financial attaché in Berlin, has held a number of conversations on the significance of the tripartite ultimatum to Japan issued at Potsdam with the Japanese Minister in Bern, Shunichi Kase, and Brigadier General Kiyotomi Okamoto, believed to be the head of Japanese intelligence in Europe.

According to indications from the Tokyo Radio, the three men all feel that the declaration initially was badly received. They emphasize, however, the “brief and perfunctory” nature of the formal reply [Page 495] as given over the Tokyo Radio by Premier Suzuki. They attribute the terseness of the reply as evidence of the influence of a “peace party”.

This group in Switzerland has been sending daily caibles to Tokyo stating that the Potsdam declaration to Japan was merely a simple statement of Allied war aims and not a “take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum which Japan could not honorably accept, as was first believed.” The group feels that these daily messages to Tokyo have served to bolster the efforts of the “peace party” in Tokyo. The group finds encouraging the fact that it has not been rebuked for such frank statements, and attaches considerable importance to a report in the Swiss press on 5 August that Foreign Minister Togo was received in private audience by the Emperor. The group considers that Togo belongs to “a new peace party”.

The group requested Jacobsson to ask Mr. Dulles whether he would be willing to see an authorized representative of the Japanese Government. If so, one of the following would be selected as the representative: (1) Minister Kase, acting as Japanese Government delegate to the conversations, not as Minister to Switzerland; (2) Ambassador Sato in Moscow; or preferably (3) some Swiss civilian now in Tokyo who could be sent under the cover of a representative of the International Red Cross. The group prefers the third alternative because it feels that such a person would know the situation in Tokyo and “would evaluate the situation as envisaged in Europe”.

Mr. Dulles comments that there is no direct evidence that these suggestions from the Japanese group in Switzerland are based on instruction? from Tokyo. Mr. Dulles has again cautioned Jacobsson on this point and has emphasized to Jacobsson that the only question is whether the Japanese are ready to accept unconditional surrender as set forth in the Potsdam and other previous official declarations. Realizing the extreme delicacy of this matter, Mr. Dulles continues to handle it with the greatest caution.

John Magruder, Brig. Gen.