740.0011 PW/8–1145

The Secretary of State to the Secretary of War (Stimson)

Dear Mr. Secretary: It is, as I am sure you will agree, of the first importance that the Japanese people should be informed of the surrender offer of their Government and the reply communicated by our Government on behalf of ourselves, the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and China.

According to the best available information, the Japanese Government has not informed the Japanese people of the offer. The Office of War Information has been broadcasting since noon today the substance of the note of August 10 from the Swiss Government communicating the Japanese offer and my reply of August 11. Short wave broadcasting, however, is an inadequate means of reaching the masses of the Japanese people. Only an extensive leaflet raid would seem capable of attaining the desired result.

I am therefore writing to request that a leaflet raid upon the Japanese home islands be carried out at the earliest possible moment. It will be deeply appreciated if the War Department finds it possible to comply with this request.55

Sincerely yours,

James F. Byrnes
  1. In answer to this letter, Acting Secretary of War Patterson wrote on August 21 that the suggested leaflet raids over Japanese cities were carried out on August 13 and 14 (740.00119 FEAC/8–2145).