From: Washington
To: Tokyo
15 September 1941
#819 (In 3 parts, complete).

Re your 561 to 563*.

Points that have occurred to us here:

(1) Whatever we tell to Secretary Hull you should understand will surely be passed on to the President if he is in Washington. It seems that the matter of preliminary conversations has been entrusted by the President to Secretary Hull, in fact he told me that if a matter could not be settled by me and Secretary Hull it would not be settled whoever conducted the conversations. Hull himself told me that during the past eight years he and the President had not differed on foreign policies once, and that they are as "two in one".

(2) The expression "Communistic and other subversive activity" would arouse their caution, and the words "common defense in China" would give rise to questions, while "agreement" would still leave a doubt as to just what it does mean in concrete terms.

(3) The United States has intimated that it wants to be advised of the peace terms between Japan and China and has further indicated that she would refuse to act as intermediary in the peace negotiations unless the terms were fair and just. Under such circumstances, I feel certain that the United States will not agree to promoting the peace conference if we now avoid outlining our terms.

(4) In view of the national characteristics of the United States and of the President's position, it will be next to impossible to leave the interpretation of the Tripartite Pact up to the "leaders" at the conference, for them to settle from a political viewpoint. In other words, if opinions of both sides do not coincide at the preliminary conferences, there will be no "leaders' conference".

(5) The United States has absolutely no objections to making these talks a Japanese-U. S. affair. Moreover, she has never even suggested the addition of a third power to it. The only thing they want to do to is arrange matters with Britain, China, Netherlands, etc. in advance, so that they will not get the impression that the United States is trading them off. However, I shall, of course convey the gist of your instructions to Hull.

(6) I have been doing everything in my power, however insignificant my efforts may seem, to carry out your various instructions and suggestions concerning the proposed negotiations. I fear, however, that if I were to go ahead and make some disposition of the various points you are discussing in Tokyo, I may find myself going off at a tangent. I should like, therefore, to leave these points alone for the time being and watch developments.

JD-1:                                      (FD) Navy Trans. 9-18-41 (1)
*#561-JD-1 5159. (S.I.S. #22247)
 #562-JD-I 5160. (S.I.S. #22248)
 #563-JD-I 5161. (S.I.S. #22249)