No. 734
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Japanese Finance and Trade Section, Office of Northeast Asian Affairs (Cronk)



  • Discussions of Japanese Rearmament with other governments.


  • Mr. J.L. Allen, Second Secretary, Australian Embassy
  • Mr. [Michael Joy, First Secretary, British Embassy
  • Mr. Peter Campbell, First Secretary, Canadian Embassy
  • Mr. Hunter Wade, First Secretary, New Zealand Embassy
  • Mr. Robert J.G. McClurkinNA
  • Mr. HamiltonBNA
  • Mrs. Alice L. DunningNA
  • Mr. Edwin M. CronkNA

Mr. McClurkin had asked the above representatives of the British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand Embassies to come in for the purpose of reviewing the Japanese defense program. Mr. McClurkin summarized recent developments and future plans with respect to the buildup of Japan’s defense forces using as reference the information contained in the memorandum attached hereto. (The attached memorandum had been previously cleared by the State–Defense Military Information Control Committee by Mr. [Michael H.] Styles, MC, for release, on a classified basis, to the above mentioned governments. Copies of the table attached to the memorandum were distributed but the memorandum itself was not released.)1

[Page 1601]

The New Zealand and Australian representatives indicated a particular interest in the development of Japan’s naval forces and asked if any carriers or cruisers would be provided the Japanese. Mr. McClurkin replied that the United States had no plans at this point of providing Japan with any naval vessels larger than a destroyer. He mentioned that in addition to naval vessels, consideration was being given to the possibility of providing an auxiliary supply vessel. He also stated that the Japanese had requested two coastal submarines for use in anti-submarine training and that this request was under consideration. The New Zealand and Australian representatives indicated that this might cause their governments some concern and urged that information on this be handled carefully. They requested specific information regarding the size and range of the submarines which might be provided which Mr. McClurkin agreed to make available when definite plans had been developed. Mr. McClurkin stressed the classified nature of information which had been provided.2

  1. Neither document found attached.
  2. In a memorandum of a conversation held with J.L. Allen on Feb. 23, McClurkin quoted an aide-mémoire handed him by Allen, which stated the Australian Government’s view that submarines should not be given or lent to Japan even for training in antisubmarine warfare. “Mr. McClurkin said that there was no likelihood that a submarine would be transferred to the Japanese in the near future in any event, and that perhaps something could be worked out to avoid any possibility that this issue would be injected into the Australian election campaign.” (U/MSA files, lot 57 D 567)