740.00119 PW/8–1645: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Hurley) to the Secretary of State

1370. I have just received from Dr. Wu, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, a copy of a memorandum which the Chinese Government sent to the British Embassy on this date. The memorandum is self-explanatory and is, in full, as follows:17

“The memorandum of the British Embassy of this date is received, and for the purpose of this reply it is quoted in full as follows:

‘Among the most urgent tasks to be tackled after the Japanese surrender will be the reoccupation of key areas in the occupied territories, the enforcement of the terms of surrender and the expeditious disarmament of the Japanese forces.

  • “2. His Majesty’s Government desire that His Excellency the President of the Republic of China should know at once that His Majesty’s Government are arranging for the despatch of the necessary British forces to reoccupy and restore the administration of Hong Kong and to ensure control over the headquarters of the Japanese southern armies, which is at Saigon.
  • ‘3. In regard to the latter point, events have overtaken the negotiations over the command of boundaries in Indochina, about which His Excellency the President addressed the Prime Minister18 on August 7: His Majesty’s Government consider that the Japanese surrender will make it unnecessary to pursue the question further. His Majesty’s Government trust that His Excellency the President will agree with them that the common object of both Governments should now be to restore the French administration of Indochina and to facilitate the return of French forces and administrative officers for this purpose, as soon as they are available.’

The Chinese Government regret to find that what is proposed in the foregoing memorandum in regard to the British desire to reoccupy [Page 501]Hong Kong and to ensure control over the headquarters of the Japanese southern armies, etc., is not in accord with the general order of surrender19 which President Truman has sent to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers and of which this Government has received a copy.

It is stated in paragraph ‘R’ [‘A’] of the above-mentioned order that ‘The Senior Japanese Commanders and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces within China (excluding Manchuria), Formosa and French Indochina north of 16 degrees north latitude shall surrender to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’.

Further the same order in paragraph ‘C’ is in full as follows:

‘The Senior Japanese Commanders and all ground, sea, air and auxiliary forces within the Andamans, Nicobars, Burma, Thailand, French Indochina south of 16 degrees north latitude, Malaya, Borneo, Netherlands Indies, New Guinea, Bismarcks, and the Solomons shall surrender (to the Supreme Allied Commander, Southeast Asia Command or the Commanding General, Australian forces—the exact breakdown between Mountbatten and the Australians to be arranged between them and the details of this paragraph then prepared by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers).’

It is noted that Hong Kong is not included in the places to be surrendered to the Supreme Allied Commander of Southeast Asia Command and it is in the area in which Japanese forces are to surrender to the Generalissimo of the China Theater. It is noted also that the suggestion made in the memorandum of the British Embassy pertaining to Indochina is also in conflict with both paragraph ‘A’ and paragraph ‘C of the order above referred to. The Chinese Government respect all legitimate British interests, and are prepared to accord them every necessary protection. But as a concerted plan of accepting the surrender of the Japanese forces is essential to the restoration of peace and order in Asia, it is suggested that His Majesty’s Government should make arrangements for the acceptance of the surrender of the Japanese forces in accordance with the general order of the Allied Nations and refrain from landing troops in any place in the China Theater without getting authority from the Supreme Commander for Allied Powers and the Supreme Commander of this theater. Signed K. C. Wu.”

Hurley
  1. The text of this memorandum, except for the text of the British memorandum quoted, was transmitted to the Department by the British Embassy in Washington on August 21.
  2. Clement R. Atlee.
  3. Directive by President Truman to the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (MacArthur), August 15, 1945, p. 530.