10 Dr C. J. Pao, Chinese Consul-General in Australia, to Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Letter 9 January 1940,

I read with great interest of the appointment of Mr. Casey as the

first Australian Minister to Washington, and would like to take

this opportunity to congratulate you for your unprecedented

leadership in building this necessary bridge across the Pacific.

Co-prosperity among the nations in the Pacific would be impossible

should one not be understood by the other. I can visualise the

gigantic contribution of this country, under your leadership,

towards the advancement of civilization of mankind and the

reconstruction of the world.

Last April, nine months ago, you mentioned to me the necessity of

a closer association and a better understanding among the Pacific

nations. I also learned of the desire of your Government to

establish diplomatic representations in Chungking and Tokio after

the completion of the procedure of establishing your Legation in

Washington. These two representations, when established,, will

join the one at Washington to bind the Pacific Powers watertight,

and the united efforts of the three Ministers of this great nation

under your leadership will be, as Confucius so aptly said, 'the

old horse' to lead the way towards permanent peace. I then cabled

to my Government and was instructed that China will be ready to

reciprocate at any time when preparation for diplomatic

representation of Australia to my country is made by you. This

view was conveyed to you in Canberra by me in person last May.

The press reported today your immediate consideration of a

Minister to Tokio. Under the present circumstances I cannot but

think that our most urgent task in building peace in the Pacific

is to remove Japan's misunderstanding. The establishment of

diplomatic representation in Tokio will certainly help the work,

and your farsight deserves admiration. However, there comes to me

naturally a question; What will be the diplomatic relation between

Australia and China?

I know there is no misunderstanding between our two countries.

People may think, however, that as long as there is the Sino-

Japanese War, the conditions in China may not be settled; and

because of that they hold the view that a Minister to China should

be postponed. My dear Prime Minister, I personally think that

because of the Sino-Japanese War the exchange of diplomatic

representations between our two countries is more urgent than

ever. Whatever the outcome of the physical struggle between China

and Japan may be, China will not vanish, not only because her

power of resistance is increasing every day, but also because of

the fact that she is a civilization. I personally think that there

is no victory of any war in the real sense, and the result of the

Sino-Japanese War will be that Japan will have to abandon her

policy of aggressive activities due to the pressure of her own

internal as well as external difficulties, and that my country

will be so developed that she will be capable not only to guard

her own national independence but will also be able to shoulder

the responsibility of maintaining peace in the Pacific with her

sister nations. It is at this time that the exchange of diplomatic

representations between this great country, whose purpose is to

achieve peace in the Pacific, with China, whose national aim is

similar to that of yours, is most urgent. The appointment of a

Minister to Tokio without considering simultaneously one to

Chungking may enhance difficulties, if not jeopardise

international relations and status, to China, in view of the

present international situation. There may be some difficulties

connected with the appointment of an Australian Minister to

Chungking, but the urgency and necessity of such a move are so

intense and great that those difficulties can be easily overcome.

Please excuse me for taking this liberty to present this view to

you in such a personal way. Since we understand each other well

and because of the fact that it is of mutual benefit of our two

countries, I have not hesitated to ask your advice in this

connection. The appointment of an Australian Minister to Chungking

simultaneously with that of one to Tokio would help to clear

matters and maintain the balance of power which is indispensable

to peace with justice. I know my Government and my people will

give every facility for such an undertaking.

With my best regards and hoping to hear from you.

[ANL: MS 1009, 61/6] [1]

1 On 10 January 1940 Pao forwarded a copy of this letter to Sir

John Latham, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, with a

covering letter (on the file here cited) requesting Latham to 'say

a word or two to Mr. Menzies in regard to that matter'.

[C. J. PAO)