740.00119 P.W./4–946: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

3946. We have just received informal letter from Foulds42 of Japanese Dept of FonOff reporting that on March 27 the Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs invited a member of British Embassy staff in Chungking to Ministry to inform him of up-to-date situation regarding Manchuria. He confirmed receipt of note about Soviet troop withdrawal by April 30 and that Chinese Govt had replied accepting that date as final. For confidential information of British, Vice Minister added that Soviet note had also suggested renewal of discussions on “economic cooperation” but that Chinese Govt in their reply had made no reference to this suggestion. Vice Minister particularly asked that these facts should not be publicly disclosed. British Embassy officer received impression that Chinese Govt was nevertheless contemplating possibility of resuming economic discussions if only as matter of expediency.

Letter states FonOff would appreciate any indication Dept might care to give British of its views as to whether any further steps might be taken “to prevent the conclusion of Sino-Soviet agreements about Manchuria which would be in disregard of commercial interests of other nations”. We have spoken to Foulds and recalled that after receipt of FonOff memo of March 8 outlined in Emb’s 2789 of March 9, Dept had stated it did not believe any further action was called for. Foulds said he did recall Dept’s statement but FonOff continues to be worried about Manchurian situation and wished to give Dept opening for further suggestions if it so desired. Foulds admitted FonOff at present has no constructive suggestions as to further action which could usefully be taken.

  1. Linton Harry Foulds.