The Acting Secretary of State to the Chinese Chargé ( Tan )77
My Dear Mr. Chargé d’Affaires: I refer to Ambassador Wei’s note of November 13, 1945,78 in which he asks that, in view of the tremendous losses incurred by the Chinese Navy, special consideration be given to China in the allotment of Japanese destroyers and surface combat vessels of lesser tonnage which it has been agreed should be divided between the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China, and the United States.
Many of these vessels are at present being used for repatriation work, for minesweeping, and for other tasks connected with the implementation of the Japanese surrender, and their release from these missions prior to their completion would necessitate the diversion of Allied shipping. It is therefore the desire of the United States Government to receive the agreement of your Government to the following procedure in regard to the disposal of destroyers and surface combatant vessels of lesser tonnage of the Japanese fleet:
When the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers determines that the destroyers and surface combatant vessels of lesser tonnage of the Japanese fleet are no longer needed for repatriation work, for minesweeping, or for any other task connected with the implementation of the Japanese surrender, he will so inform the United States Government, and the United States Government will then arrange with the interested governments for an equal division of these vessels between the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China, and the United States.79
I am, my dear Mr. Tan,
- Handed to Mr. Tan Shao-hwa on January 24 by the Deputy Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Penfield).↩
- Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. vi, p. 998.↩
- A similar note dated January 30 was sent the British Ambassador (Halifax) in response to the British Embassy’s aide-mémoire of January 19, p. —. The following final paragraph was added: “With reference to the Japanese merchant and fishing fleets, it is the view of the United States Government that units of these fleets should be disposed of in accordance with decisions of an Allied reparations commission operating under general policies laid down by the Far Eastern Commission. It is assumed that this question will be considered by the Commission in due course.” (740.00119 Control (Japan)/1–1946)↩