No. 542
Memorandum by John Foster Dulles, Consultant to the Secretary of State, to the Secretary of State1

The proposed reservation to the Japanese Peace Treaty to the effect that “China” shall be deemed to be the National Government got 29 votes against 48. This was despite the fact that the reservation was vigorously opposed by both Senator Smith and Senator Knowland, who are known as being staunch supporters of the National regime.

The Senate attitude on this matter makes it quite apparent to me that the reservation would have been adopted had the Japanese Government not taken the decision to deal with the Nationals on the terms of Prime Minister Yoshida’s letter to me of December 24.

The reservation, if adopted, would have involved an attempt to impose our particular Chinese views in the Treaty itself and would have been rejected by a large number of the other signatories with the result that the entire Treaty structure would have collapsed.

I know that what we did put an undesirable strain upon our U.K. relations but it was not nearly as bad as what seems to me was clearly the alternative.

  1. Drafted by Dulles.