Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
71 — The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
Circular telegram. japan.
My immediately preceding telegram M.403, paragraph 2.1
1. The [United States] Secretary of State told the Australian Minister that he was depressed by the turn of events. He blamed the Chinese principally for the dropping of the modus vivendi,2 but said he would have liked stronger support from the British and Dutch Governments. He did not stress the latter point, but said it would have been impossible to implement the modus vivendi in the face of strong Chinese opposition and that he had now dropped it entirely. The Australian Minister suggested that further discussion with the Chinese might save the position, but the Secretary of State thought it was now too late.
2. The Australian Minister later saw the Under-Secretary of State, who said it was apparent that the Japanese had started their military operations at least some days ago.
3. The Australian Minister tried to draw out both the Secretary of State and the Under-Secretary of State as to what action the United States would take if the Japanese invaded Thailand, but they would not make any commitments.
1 Not published. Paragraph 2 read: ‘The Secretary of State told the Australian Minister that nothing of consequence happened at the meeting between the President and Japanese representatives on 27 November. Both sides restated their position. Kurusu had had no instructions from his Government to return.’