740.0011 PW (Peace)/2–2148: Telegram
The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Smith) to the Secretary of State
350. London 650, February 20, to Department. Embassy believes early Japanese peace conference will have little if any deterrent effect on Kremlin’s plans for Far East. Question then becomes one of deciding when is most favorable moment for US take initiative again in pressing for peace settlement. Embassy believes Soviets will not join except on own terms.
Whether Japanese public opinion is turning “sour” and Japanese criticism welling up against principal occupying powers is of course matter for Tokyo to judge. Embassy ventures opinion that Japanese may realistically understand hopelessness of CFM agreement on Japan and know where obstructionism lies.
Achievement some sort understanding with China on Japanese treaty appears to us of first importance, and I believe this is more likely to be obtained before we make another large financial contribution than after this is done. Reported Soviet interest in a political settlement in China may have some basis as indicating Kremlin’s natural desire take maximum advantage China’s desperate plight to counteract and diminish US influence in China. Sino-US agreement on Japanese treaty procedure would be highly desirable and healthy development even though conference itself might not immediately be convened.
Department repeat Nanking 6, London 17.1
- Repeated in 64, February 25, 6.p.m., to Tokyo.↩