From: Washington (Nomura)
27 October 1941
Chief of Office Routing.
On the 25th, I met and talked with Admiral Pratt. The Admiral is one who recognizes the fact that in the final analysis, the aims of economic warfare and actual armed conflict are one and the same. He is of the opinion that as long as Japan stays within the scope of the China Incident, there will be no shooting war between Japan and the United States. He said, however, that if Japan moved either northward or southward, he feared the consequences. He added that the final decision rested in the Emperor and the President.
Knox's speech, he went on, was exceedingly unfortunate. When he (the Admiral) writes for magazines or speaks on the radio, he always takes Japan into his calculations very carefully. After all the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, as far as the President is concerned, is of course, Stark. The opinions of the two completely coincide. Unfortunately, however, Stark cannot be said to be a "strong" individual, Admiral Pratt said. Hart, on the other hand although he has enemies within the Department, is a strong character.
He further reported that he had heard from other sources that the President is sincerely desirous of having a peaceful and stabilized Pacific. However, because he is advised by various people to pursue various courses of action, the Admiral could not guarantee that there would be no trouble on those waters.
Admiral Pratt went on to say that Harriman, who was sent to the Soviet Union, is a very capable person in whom every confidence could be placed. This man states that Stalin is not in a position to discuss peace and that without a doubt, Hitler is winning that battle.
Concerning the project to attempt to have Italy enter into a separate peace, Pratt is of the opinion that such a peace would put Italy in the same disastrous position that France now occupies and for this reason he is inclined to doubt that Italy will consider it.
In the final analysis, the Admiral is of the opinion that the war will be a long drawn out affair, and that sooner or later, one side will become more fatigued than the other.
Thus, he expressed what probably is the most optimistic view to come from any authoritative American.
He went on to express his opinion that the Atlantic would be saved for Great Britain.
Japan should do everything to avoid impairing her might on the seas so that she can take it with her to the eventual peace conference. It will be only with a strong navy to fall back on that Japan will have much say in those peace terms, he said.
JD-1: 6175 (D) Navy Trans. 10-30-41 (1)
(EXHIBITS OF JOINT COMMITTEE , EXHIBIT NO. 1 INTERCEPTED DIPLOMATIC MESSAGES SENT BY THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT BETWEEN JULY l AND DECEMBER 8, 1941)