693.94/12–2951: Telegram

No. 462
The Secretary of State to the United States Political Adviser to SCAP(Sebald) 2

top secret

Topad 1875. Eyes only Sebald from Dulles. Reurtel 1366 Dec 29.3 Assume memo 27th does not supersede or qualify earlier signed [Page 1064] letter4 but is in fact restatement of points previously raised out of which came Yoshida’s letter to me, and is particularly designed reemphasize what Yoshida and I agreed namely great desirability of common policy between US and UK regarding China. Letter involved only limited decisions leaving untouched the great problem of economic relations with mainland China which I assume is area of critical importance to Japan and primary concern of Section II of unsigned memo. Request you advise Yoshida of this interpretation pointing out that after his oral statement to Senators5 at final meeting and subsequent written confirmation to me any retraction or qualification now could have very serious consequences. You can further advise Yoshida that China problem and Japan’s relation to it will probably be discussed at TrumanChurchill talks6 and accord sought. No intention make his letter to me public until after these talks which we hope will bring Brit accord with Japan’s intentions expressed in letter to me. Also of course we recall understanding Yoshida will be given prior notice of intention to use letter publicly. Inform Yoshida I greatly appreciate his action in forwarding memo and upon its receipt it will be given most serious consideration.7

  1. Drafted by Dulles and marked “Cleared by Secretary in draft”.
  2. In this telegram Sebald partially summarized an unsigned memorandum dated Dec. 27 from Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida to Dulles. The memorandum was forwarded by Yoshida to Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway for transmission to Dulles; regarding this memorandum, see the editorial note, Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. vi, Part 1, p. 1471.

    Sebald concluded telegram 1366 as follows: “In view previous commitments and in view extraordinary means utilized in advancing this latest expression of views, you may wish me to seek clarification from PriMin. Alternatively you may prefer rely on previous commitments and not dignify unsigned memo by making it basis for reopening discussions.” (693.94/12–2951)

  3. Reference is to the letter dated Dec. 24 from the Prime Minister to Dulles. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. vi, p. 1466.
  4. H. Alexander Smith (R-New Jersey) and John Sparkman (D-Alabama), members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, accompanied Dulles on his visit to Japan, Dec. 10–19.
  5. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was in the United States Jan. 5–19, 1952, at the head of a British Delegation which held talks with President Truman and other U.S. officials. Documentation on these talks is scheduled for publication in volume vi .
  6. In telegram 1401 from Tokyo, Jan. 6, 1952, marked “For Dulles from Sebald”, the latter replied:

    “I carefully and fully discussed substance reftel with Yoshida late yesterday. He feigned some surprise that unsigned and unofficial memo shld have been taken seriously and stated that you may “unqualifiedly rest assured there has been no change” his attitude and policy as set forth in Dec 24 ltr. At same time Yoshida again expressed great concern over US–UK differences regarding China and hoped everything possible will be done bring about common policy to which Japan can lend wholehearted and sincere support. I repeated it was my understanding which you had confirmed that this subj will most probably be discussed in forthcoming high-level mtg Wash. Yoshida jokingly replied he hoped it wld not be necessary read between the lines and that straightforward and forthright US–UK agreement wld be reached.” (693.94/1–652)