Memorandum by the Associate Chief of the Division of Commercial Policy (Willoughby) to the Assistant Secretary of State (Acheson)

In accordance with instructions from the Department the Embassy at Chungking presented to the Chinese Government on April 2 the draft treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation with China. Although we do not plan to give publicity to the matter, it seems probable that word will get around that a treaty is under consideration.

If you approve, we suggest that you tell Senator Connally,59 informally and confidentially, that the draft has been given to the Chinese Government and that the Department will want to discuss with him and the other members of the Foreign Relations Committee, before any commitment is made, any important deviation from previous similar treaties which have been approved by the Senate.60

The Chinese have indicated that they desire to begin negotiations soon but that it may not be convenient for them to do so until after the San Francisco conference. It may be several months or more before the negotiations have progressed sufficiently to warrant talking to the Foreign Relations Committee.

Woodbury Willoughby
[Page 1315]

[Conversations regarding the draft treaty were entered into with British Embassy officials by representatives of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs and the Divisions of Commercial Policy and Chinese Affairs on April 20, May 24, July 5 and 31, and August 3. The British at the time were preparing their draft of a commercial treaty to be entered into with China. Discussions were held to exchange views on various provisions of the American draft treaty and to keep the British informed of developments in negotiations with the Chinese. Relevant memoranda of conversation, prepared in the Division of Commercial Policy, are not printed.]

  1. Tom Connally, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
  2. Marginal notation: “I spoke to Sen. Wagner, Acting Chairman, today—April 24, 1945, D[ean] A[cheson]”.