378 Plimsoll to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 1596 WASHINGTON, 4 December 1947, 8.04 p.m.


Japanese Peace Settlement 1. From reactions in State Department, it would appear that there is little likelihood of United States at present accepting Russian proposal for Big Four conference on Japanese Settlement. However, from here we cannot judge Marshall's personal reaction. State Department officials have privately expressed view that in any case Marshall himself will not wish to go to China again.

2. Tan [1], Minister at Chinese Embassy here, said he thought China would not reply to U.S.S.R. proposal until United States and United Kingdom views were known. China still believed that F.E.C.

method of voting should be adopted for peace conference. China considered Russian participation in peace treaty was essential, since otherwise no final or workable settlement could be achieved on territorial, reparations, and other vital matters. United States had assumed moral responsibility for looking after China's interests vis-a-vis U.S.S.R. because Chinese-Soviet treaty of friendship was entered into at her instigation. In addition China had grave difficulties on her Northern borders with U.S.S.R. and could not afford to aggravate them by agreeing to join peace conference without Russia. As instances he pointed out that China had already been rebuffed by U.S.S.R. when she attempted to return to Dairen. Tan also claimed that two divisions and one independent brigade from Outer Mongolian People's Republic and at least 1500 Soviet-trained Korean troops were at present fighting as part of Communist troops in North China.

3. U.S.S.R. suggestion would seem to have many attractions for Chinese because Big Four conference in China would enhance prestige of Central Government inside China and would provide renewed Soviet recognition of Chiang Kai-shek which might be useful to him in his operations against the Communists. Moreover, strong body of Chinese opinion appears to exist which desires veto for its own sake, partly for prestige and partly as means of protecting Chinese position in regard to reparations from Japan and level of Japanese industry. However, China would be unlikely to accept Russian proposal so long as United States was strongly opposed to it.

4. 'New York Times' quotes Molotov as saying at C.F.M. on 2nd December that U.S.S.R. considered that China and Big Four could call a meeting to discuss Japanese peace treaty.

1 Tan Shao-hua.

[AA : A1068, P47/10/61/10, i]