Moscow Embassy Files, Lot F–96

Minutes of the Second Formal Session of the Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers


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4. The Disarming of Japanese in, and Their Evacuation From, Northern China

Mr. Byrnes stated that he had circulated at the previous session a statement concerning the United States Marine Forces in North China. Furthermore, a statement had been issued by the President last Sunday morning further clarifying this problem. Mr. Byrnes circulated the latter statement17 (enclosure No. 3).

Mr. Molotov said that it would be necessary to study Mr. Byrnes’ document.

Mr. Byrnes replied that he had no objection whatsoever. The paper which he had just circulated contained no proposal but was merely a statement of the situation. It set forth what the United States forces were doing in North China and what the President had announced was United States policy there. When Mr. Byrnes had stated that he wished to discuss this subject, it had been his intention to furnish a statement along these lines. Mr. Byrnes was following what he regarded as the purpose of the Conference—that of exchanging views on questions of common interest. He wished to advise his colleagues as to the situation and as to the United States policy in China.

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Mr. Molotov stated that the documents which Mr. Byrnes had submitted dealt with a question which he believed it would be useful to discuss at the present Conference. He wished to have an opportunity to study these documents.

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  1. Omitted portions deal with agenda items other than China.
  2. President Truman’s statement of December 15, p. 770.