Sir J. G. LATHAM 5.sjg.02 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire Koshi

No. 387

FROM: Tokyo

TO: Hsinking, Nanking, Shanghai and Peking

February 27, 1941

# 435.

Circular. Message from London # 136, February 24th.

Part 3 of 3.

(It is this system that the people of the British Empire, with the sympathy and support of the whole British speaking world, are resolved to extirpate from the continent of Europe. His Majesty’s Government have no designs upon the integrity or independence of any other country, and they seek no advantage for themselves except the satisfaction of having rid the earth of a hateful terror and of restoring freedom to the many insulted and enslaved nations of the European continent. This they would regard as the greatest honor that could reward them, and the crowning episode in what, for the Western world, is a long continuity of history.) (Monsieur MATSUOKA, with loftiest motives, has hinted at his readiness to act as the mediator between the belligerents—the Prime Minister is sure that, in light of what he has said and on further reflection, Monsieur MATSUOKA will understand that in a cause of this kind, not in any way concerned with territory, trade or material gains, but affecting the whole future of humanity, there can be no question of compromise or parley.) (It would be a matter of profoundest regret to His Majesty’s Government if by any circumstances Japan and this country were to become embroiled, and this not only because of their recollection of the years during which the two countries were happily united in alliance, but also because such a melancholy event would both spread and prolong the war without, however, in the opinion of His Majesty’s Government, altering its conclusion.) (Foreign Office, S.W.) 1-(—–) (the February) (date).

Trans. 3-19-41

No. 388

FROM: Tokyo (Matsuoka)

TO: Washington (Koshi) Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

February 28, 1941

# 438.

Circular. In 4 parts—complete. Action London as # 063.

His Imperial Japanese Majesty’s Minister for Foreign Affairs acknowledges the receipt of the note of His Britannic Majesty’s Prime Minister dated February 24, 1941, and takes pleasure to apprise the latter that the statements and remarks contained therein have been duly noted.

The Foreign Minister trusts that Mr. Churchill is not necessarily expecting observations to be made upon them. He wishes, however, to take advantage of the opportunity to state that no hint whatever of his readiness to act as mediator between the actual belligerents was in-

Page A-203

tended to be conveyed in his memorandum addressed to His Britannic Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. (Nor) did he ever imagine of any possibility of such a hint to be read into any part of the text.

The Foreign Minister took occasion in his memorandum to refer to the mediation now taking place in Tokyo as Mr. Eden had made allusions to it and incidentally took the liberty of stating in a general and abstract manner the views he has always cherished, in order to make clear the aspiration and attitude of his country concerning the problem of peace or the recovery of normal conditions throughout the world.

The Foreign Minister believes that it will not be entirely out of place to reiterate what he has said on more than one occasion in reference to the Tripartite Pact, inasmuch as this matter was touched upon by Mr. Eden in his conversation with Ambassador Shigemitu. The Tripartite Pact was concluded as and remains a peace pact in the sense that it was entered into largely with a view to preventing a third Power from participating in the European war or Sino-Japanese conflict, thus limiting the participants and dimensions of the war and also to bringing about peace at the earliest possible date.

Japan’s ideals were epitomized in the preamble of the Pact and it is needless to say that Japan is remaining absolutely loyal to the aims and ideals enunciated, will always find herself standing by her allies under the Tripartite Pact. The Foreign Minister would equally deplore and regret, if by any untoward circumstances Great Britain and this country were to become embroiled, not only because of the recollection of the years during which the two countries were united in alliance, but also because such a tragic eventuality would be fraught with the danger of destroying modern civilization to the undoing of the best part of Humanity. February 27, 1941.

Trans. 3-10-41

No. 389

FROM: London (Japanese Ambassador)

TO: Washington

March 10, 1941

# 35.

Message to Tokyo # 171. Part 1 of 3 [a].

Re my # 154 [a].

On the 3rd of March Australian Premier MENZIE who is here in the War Cabinet made a speech and in my interview of the 4th, Prime Minister CHURCHILL took it upon himself to refer to it. CHURCHILL avoided using the word “appeasement” and chose a French word “detant”  [sic] which means a slackening of strained relations. In this speech MENZIE answered in a manner Your Excellency’s first message to EDEN and proposed that difficulties in the Pacific be overcome through the frank exchange of opinions. It emphasized the importance of friendly relations with Japan.

There was a meeting of the Foreign Press Association, the British and American reporters, together with a number of foreign reporters and other well-known people, had taken their seats, and in response to a wide appeal this speech was made. MENZIE stated that Japan sent influential Mr. KAWAI as Minister to Australia to match Australia’s appointment of Sir J. G. LATHAM, and went on to eulogize these emissaries. In response to this speech, labor representatives in the Australian Government charged that this was an appeasement policy, and the opposition Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire here in London also made an ado over it, but MENZIE resolutely denies their accusations and has published a statement that this is not an appeasement policy to placate anyone little by little, but is a realistic policy designed to do away with difficulties. On the 6th

Page A-204

the Australian Government announced that its views differed in no wise from those of the Premier.

Well, I think that we can take this speech of MENZIE’s as a gesture of friendship from Great Britain who earnestly desires peace in the Pacific Ocean. The tone of the newspapers since then has also led me to this conclusion.

[a] Parts 2 and 3 not available.

[b] Not available.

Trans. 3-13-41

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