Memorandum of Conversation, by the Consultant to the Secretary (Dulles)

Participants: Dr. Wellington Koo, Chinese Ambassador
John Foster Dulles

Dr. Koo called to inquire about my trip to Tokyo in so far as related to Japanese relations with China. I told Dr. Koo that I came back with increased expectation that the Japanese Government would, broadly speaking, align itself with U.S. policy as regards China. I said that I felt that the Japanese Government believed that this was genuinely in its interest, but that it was reluctant to take a course strongly opposed by the British Government, particularly because of the British influence over trade in Southeast Asia, through control of the sterling currency in which such trade was conducted. I said that I did not expect that there would be any clear development of Japanese policy until after the Truman–Churchill Talks, as there was a feeling in Japan that these talks might perhaps lead to a British approach to the U.S. position which would make it easier for Japan to act in line with American policy.

I told Dr. Koo that I had been somewhat disturbed by rumors since I got back, that an effort might be made to link U.S. ratification of the Japanese Peace Treaty, with a bilateral treaty between Japan and Nationalist China. I said that I believed that such an effort by the U.S. Senate to coerce the Japanese Government would be bad from the standpoint of future relations between Japan and the National Government of China. The Japanese people would resent being coerced, and even if they acquiesced originally, would be disposed to undo the recognition as soon as possible, and the National Government, instead of gaining prestige, would lose it, because it would be made apparent to the whole world that Japan extended treaty relations to the National Government only under the lash. It would be a “shot-gun” marriage which would not help the National Government and which would have little chance of lasting. I urged that the National Government should have confidence that matters were working out satisfactorily and that they should not attempt to press too fast or seek coercive pressure from the U.S.

I said that, as my public statements had made clear, my personal hope was that ways would be found to develop a more positive policy in Asia designed not merely to check, but to roll back Soviet Communism and to separate China from Moscow; but that these things could not be done hastily.

Dr. Koo thanked me for what I had told him.

J[ohn] F[oster] D[ulles)