57 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 717 [1] WASHINGTON, 3 September 1941, 10.20 p.m.

MOST SECRET

I saw the Secretary of State [2] today. His main regard is to avoid things being said or done that would precipitate fall of the Konoye Government and its replacement by vicious hot-head Government. Consequently he greatly deplores the publication here today of story of Japanese invitation to President to meet Konoye [3] which he fears will be used by the Japanese extremists as indicating appeasement tendency on the part of Konoye.

I believe it probable that the Chinese here may have prompted leakage of story of Konoye-Roosevelt meeting. They are mortally afraid of being sold down the river although I believe this is the last thing the United States would do.

The Secretary of State regards the tenure of Konoye Government as precarious.

Secretary of State said his principal objective in resuming discussions with Japan was to gain precious time during which United States can improve their position in the Far East. He said he had only a faint hope of success resulting from such discussions.

He believes it possible that American petrol tankers going to Vladivostok may be stopped by Japanese and hinted that if this happened United States would finally stop all shipments to Japan.

CASEY

1 Repeated to the Legation in Tokyo as no. 41 2 Cordell Hull.

3 Casey had earlier informed the Commonwealth Govt of the secret proposal that the Japanese Prime Minister should visit the United States to see Roosevelt. See cablegrams 650 and 659 of 16 and 19 August on file AA:A3300, 98

[AA:A981,JAPAN 178]