740.00119 PW/1–1846

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chinese Chargé (Tan)80

top secret

Oral Statement

The United States Government understands and sympathizes with China’s desire to rehabilitate her Navy, but is confident that the Chinese Government will realize, in connection with the Department’s note to the Embassy of today’s date, that it would be impractical for the United States to suggest a modification of the principle of equal division of Japanese combatant vessels between the four Powers concerned. Such a suggestion would only open the door to embarrassment and disagreement among the Allies, with no commensurate benefit to China. The few Japanese destroyers and surface combatant vessels of lesser tonnage which are to be divided are now being subjected to hard use in connection with the repatriation of Japanese from abroad, and by the time they are released from this duty it can hardly be expected that they will provide substantial additional strength to the Chinese Navy. On the other hand, the Chinese Government is well aware of American interest in China’s Navy, as evidenced by the present training of Chinese Navy personnel, contemplated transfer of American ships to the Chinese Navy, and plans for an American naval advisory group in China.

  1. Handed to Mr. Tan Shao-hwa on January 24 by the Deputy Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Penfield).