Sunday, January 10, 2010

generally 44.gen.0004 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

In most cases, serial killers are primarily motivated by the need for power and control. Rader was no different and often flaunted his self-perceived supremacy in his work and in everyday activities. At the time of Rader's arrest, he was employed by Park City as a compliance supervisor, which involved "animal control, inoperable vehicles, general code compliance and nuisances." However, if there was anyone a nuisance, Rader's neighbors claimed it was he.

Fox News said that Rader was often referred to as a "bureaucratic bully" who would go "out of his way to find reasons to give people citations." It was further reported that he would go around filming his neighbors in the hopes of catching them committing some minor transgression. He even measured the grass of one woman he disliked, in order to catch her in violation of a city ordinance.

According to Fred Mann and Les Anderson's article in the Wichita Eagle, two Park City residents, Sarah Gordon and her sister Hearther Herrera, had a "run-in" with Rader at their garage sale in the summer of 2004 because they didn't have a license for it. Rader reportedly told the women, "You don't want to mess with me. I'm nobody to mess with." He wasn't kidding.

ABC News reported that Donna Barry, a neighbor of Rader's who has known him and his family since she was a child, had seen a darker side of Rader.

"Barry said she and her children were out on their front lawn one day, and a neighbor from across the street was outside with his dog. In his capacity as a dog catcher and ordinance officer, Barry said Rader approached the dog and allegedly tried to mace it.

"But, according to Barry, the 'wind blew the mace back in his face.' She says Rader groped for his tranquilizer gun, but couldn't get to it. That's when he allegedly pulled out a gun and shot the dog."

Other than the dog incident, "He was generally a really nice gentleman," she said. "I've known him since I was probably four or five years old. You know, he was the kind of neighbor that you could go down the road and he would stay up and talk to you and open the door for you and hold a conversation."

The Wichita Eagle reported that "several Park City residents and former co-workers described Rader as egotistical and arrogant -- a by-the-book person who pays attention to detail. The descriptions in many ways matched those offered by criminal profilers who have studied BTK. Charlie Otero, whose parents and sister were BTK's first known victims, believes that if Rader is BTK, he should get the death penalty.

Friday, December 25, 2009

started 4.sta.0003 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

Nagyrev is a farming village on the River Tisza in Hungary, about sixty miles southeast of Budapest, near another town called Tiszakurt. For a time, a community of killers flourished in these two places... thanks to the midwives. Known as the "wise women", they inspired and assisted in the murders of an estimated three hundred people over a span of fifteen years.

It started during World War I, and since there was no hospital in Nagyrev, the prominent midwife, Julius Fazekas, took care of people's medical needs. She'd only been in town for three years, but in that time had gained a reputation for helping women get rid of unwanted babies. Her cohort in crime, reputed to be a witch, was Susanna Olah, a.k.a., "Auntie Susi".

Most of the men had gone to war in 1914, but soon there were other men around---the Allied prisoners of war in camps outside town. They apparently had limited freedoms, because a number of women got involved with these men, and when spouses returned, the wives were unhappy. They'd gotten used to their sexual freedom, it seems, and did not wish to have it curtailed. Talk got back to the midwives about the general discontent. Apparently they saw a way to capitalize.

Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire and Olah began boiling arsenic off strips of flypaper to sell to these women. They dispensed poison to whoever wanted it, and there were plenty of takers. It's estimated that around fifty poisoners went into action, calling themselves "The Angel Makers of Nagyrev," and because of the high death rate, the area eventually became known as "The Murder District".

In fact, some women decided to be rid of more than just an inconvenient spouse and began to poison other annoying relatives and even their own children. Occasionally they poisoned one another. Marie Kardos murdered her husband, her lover, and her twenty-three-year-old son. Just before he died, she got him to sing for her. Knowing he was poisoned, she listened to his sweet voice. In the midst of his song, he clutched his stomach and was soon dead. Giving testimony years later, she seemed to think this event rather delightful. Maria Varga killed seven members of her family, considering the death of her husband in particular a Christmas present to herself.

Because Fazekas' cousin filed the death certificates, when officials poked their noses in to check on the sudden rise in the death rate, she showed them that everything was in order. This one was a drowning (a poisoned woman tossed in the river), and that one was an illness. There were no doctors around to make examinations, so who was to say differently?

The first death was Peter Hegedus in 1914, and by some accounts, the poisonings stopped in 1929 only after a medical student from another town found high levels of arsenic in a body washed up on the riverbanks. This event inspired officials to exhume two other bodies in the Nagyrev cemetery, and finding poison, arrested suspects.

By another account, the killings stopped because one woman, Mrs. Szabo, who was acting as a nurse, got caught poisoning a man's wine. Then another patient complained of the same thing. Under questioning, Szabo implicated a friend, who admitted that she'd poisoned her mother. She also told on the midwife, and Fazekas was brought in for questioning.

She denied it and said they could prove nothing. However, the authorities set a trap. They let her go and she went about warning her customers that their game was over. Her arsenic factory was closing down, and no one had better tell. However, as she went from house to house, she all but pointed out to the police who the poisoners were.

That day, they made thirty-eight arrests, with more to follow, and twenty-six women actually went to trial. Eight received the death sentence, seven got life, and the others spent some time in jail. Among those who died was "Auntie Susi," because it was she who had gone about town distributing the poison to various customers. Her sister was also sentenced to death. One account says that Fazekas was one of those hanged, but another describes her suicide by poison in her own home, surrounded by pots of boiled flypaper. At any rate, the woman who'd come in to offer her "medical" services had inspired a shocking murder spree, and the final tally will never be known.

Authorities considered that theses women had been gripped by madness for fifteen years, brought on by their promiscuity. They were at a loss to otherwise explain it.

Yet this isn't the only place where female caretakers have teamed up to kill people.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

unusual 44.we.201001 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

he famous English poet Philip Larkin once wrote,

"Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(Which was rather late for me)
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles' first LP."

His words struck a chord among the generation that grew up in post-war Britain. Back then it certainly seemed for many that sex was something that was rarely seen and barely ever heard, Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire even if the continuing baby boom suggested it was definitely going on somewhere.

In the late 1950s, before the sexual liberation of the sixties and long before the phrase "swinging London" was ever coined, sex was a concept shrouded in secrecy, a basic human instinct which was to be tended to behind as many closed doors as possible.Yet society's suppression of it meant that exponents of the world's oldest profession were rarely short of customers.

It wasn't difficult to work out why lone women lined the streets of West London suburbs like Bayswater, Holland Park and Notting Hill after the hours of darkness. It was safe to assume they weren't waiting for a number 10 bus.

Likewise, in the dimly lit back streets of England's capital city, it was common to find cars parked up and lovers snatching a few precious minutes away from the disapproving gaze of their parents, with whom many couples still lived even after getting married. Some married men also frequented these spots without their spouses, in the company of the "street girls" referred to above. Such men were prepared to pay for the kind of services which "nice girls" such as their wives would not provide.

Duke's Meadows, on the banks of the River Thames in Chiswick, West London, was one such spot, crudely nicknamed "Gobblers' Gulch" by locals in reference to the sexual practices said to be popular there.

However, something considerably more sinister than the usual discarded prophylactics greeted police as they patrolled the towpath early on the morning of June 17, 1959. They stumbled across the body of a woman, sat up against a small willow tree, her blue and white striped dress torn open to reveal her breasts and some scratches on her throat. She had been strangled.

The body was found to be that of Elizabeth Figg, also known as "Ann Phillips" (prostitutes often changed their names after convictions for "soliciting").

Her back story was a familiar one. She came to London after her mother kicked her out for the last time, sponging off a string of ne'er-do-well lovers and dodging rent-demanding landlords.

Even in this relatively non-violent era, police were not entirely unaccustomed to finding the dead bodies of prostitutes. Many lived lives full of violence, dealt out by brutal pimps, jealous boyfriends and rogue clients. "Tarts" were the lowest of the low, and many had a barely more respectful opinion of themselves, considering such batterings as an occupational hazard. Figg was "ponced" (the word used back then for a pimp) by her Trinidadian boxer boyfriend Fenton "Baby" Ward, and while he was not above knocking her about a bit, he was soon ruled out of police enquiries into the murder.

George Haigh
George Haigh

Besides, there was something unusual about this particular dead body. In London in 1959, the kind of sex murders that often feature on this website were practically unheard of. Infamous British murderers like Haigh and Christie had been few and far between, and neither were early examples of the modern day serial killer who slays strangers and discards their corpses like human garbage.

To find a dead body abandoned nearly naked in a public place was shocking even for experienced detectives, suggesting this was different to the crimes of passion, violence or avarice that police were used to. Yet despite house-to-house enquiries, interviews with prostitutes, ponces, taxi drivers, and night shift workers, no strong clues were found as to the killer's identity. Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

As the case slowly went cold, Elizabeth Figg and the strange case of the semi-naked corpse were forgotten. It would be more than four years before anyone had cause to mention her name again.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ambassador Nomura Appraises President Roosevelt's Speech


Hull. Expressing its gratitude to Ambassador Nomura for his conscientious endeavors to adjust the problems of the Japanese-American situation, Tokyo hoped, since his efforts were nearing realization, that he would continue to employ the full extent of his capabilities in this matter.[247] Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

58. American Public Opinion Is Hostile to Japan

Although Ambassador Nomura did not discuss the Greer incident with Secretary Hull until September 10, 1941, on September 8, 1941 he sent Tokyo a report on the attitude of the American public toward Japan and the possible effects which the incident in the Atlantic might have upon it. For more detailed information, the Japanese Ambassador asked that Tokyo question Mr. Iwakuro Wakasugi, recently returned to Tokyo from Washington.

From a recent study of the Gallup Poll, Ambassador Nomura observed that American public opinion was much more hostile to Japan than Germany; in fact, since July there had been an increase in the number of people who favored preventing Japan's further advance in the Pacific, even at the risk of war. At present the percentage was approximately 70 % in favor of stopping Japanese aggression.

The attack on the Greer had served not only to increase the concern of the United States over the safety of travel on the Atlantic, but had also raised apprehension regarding shipping in the Pacific. If a similar accident ever occurred in the Pacific, the situation would then become irreparable.

Ambassador Nomura attributed the greater indignation of the American people over Japanese actions as compared with German to the fact that, in case of a war with Germany, it would be necessary to send an expeditionary army, whereas, in the case of a Japanese-American war, an army would not be necessary.[248]

A few days later, on September 10, 1941, Ambassador Nomura reported that there were rumors abroad regarding the speech to be made by President Roosevelt on September 11, 1941. Some declared that a shooting patrol would be established between the United States and Ireland for the defense of those waters, and others insinuated that the German submarine had deliberately attacked the Greer with the intention of forcing Japan to conclude the Japanese-American negotiations.[249]

In a message sent to Berlin reporting the increase in American military preparations, the Japanese government mentioned the stiffening of American public opinion against Japan. Since Germany appeared able to maintain a calm attitude toward the United States in spite of the pressure applied by the American government, Japan felt that its aim should be to keep America out of the European war. Rather than provoking the American people into uniting at this time, Japan recognized the advantages of appeasing the United States and, in the meantime, of working toward its internal disintegration.[250]

59. Ambassador Grew Delivers American Statement to Foreign Minister Toyoda (September 10, 1941)

In compliance with his instructions, Ambassador Grew called upon Foreign Minister Toyoda on the evening of September 10, 1941 to deliver a statement from the State Department. Be-

[247] Ibid.
[248] III, 144. In reporting on American production, Ambassador Nomura pointed out that during 1941 the payment for war materials exceeded an average of $1,000,000 monthly and the production output was four or five times more than that of the preceding year.
[249] III, 145.
[250] III, 146.



fore beginning his remarks, Ambassador Grew made it clear to the Japanese Foreign Minister that the inquiries of the United States government in the statement he had presented were merely exploratory and preliminary, and further questions might emerge from an additional study of the Japanese proposals.[251]

The statement declared that although the United States was still examining the Japanese commitments which had been delivered by Foreign Minister Toyoda to Ambassador Grew on September 4, 1941 and by Ambassador Nomura to Secretary Hull on September 6, 1941, the United States had in view an agreement which would provide the basis for an understanding between the two countries by which China would receive just and equitable treatment and the rights of all Pacific powers would be observed.[252]

To ensure future peace and stability throughout the Far East, it was recognized that a fair settlement of the controversies between China and Japan must first be effected. In replying to previous Japanese proposals, the United States had made it clear that it was in no position to assist in the settlement of the China Incident without first receiving definite assurance that Japan's terms were consistent with the principles of the United States. As a result of Tokyo's insistence that Japanese troops should remain in Inner Mongolia and North China for an unspecified period, and because the Japanese government refused to act without discrimination in its commercial relations with China, collaboration between those two countries had not been achieved.

In its latest proposals it appeared that Japan intended to negotiate with China directly, relieving the United States of any responsibility in the matter; and ignoring America's intention, before negotiating with Japan, to confer with the governments of China, Great Britain and the Netherlands in order to evolve a peace beneficial to the legitimate concerns of all powers interested in that area. Since America believed that if the Japanese government were willing to propose equitable and just terms to Chungking, no difficulties would be incurred, the United States intended to continue to render assistance to China in its resistance to aggression.

From the study of these recent Japanese proposals, certain questions had arisen which Japan was requested to answer. Referring to Japan's assertion that it was prepared to subscribe to the points upon which tentative agreement had been reached in Washington, the United States asked whether Japan referred to the points in the American draft of June 21, 1941 which were identical to those in the draft submitted by Ambassador Nomura on September 4, 1941 or some other points. Since certain stipulations in the September 4, 1941 proposals appeared to limit the principles set forth during the informal conversations, the United States requested clarification of certain points.

In regard to the principle of non-discrimination in international commerce, America questioned the extent to which Japan would carry out these liberal economic activities in the Far East. Pointing out that Japan had stated that the economic rights of the United States in China would not be restricted as long as they were pursued on an "equitable basis," the American government asked for the precise meaning of this term and whether Japan would be the sole judge in interpreting it. Although the United States was still carefully examining the Japanese statement of its attitude regarding the European war, it felt that the formula was inadequate in that it permitted Japan to interpret independently any commitment on this score. However, the question would be studied further.[253]

[251] "Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)", September 10, 1941, S.D., II, 610.
[252] "Statement handed by the American Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs (Toyoda)", September 10, 1941, S.D., II, 610-613. Foreign Minister Toyoda sent Ambassador Nomura a copy of this message on September 12, 1941. See III, 147-153.
[253] Ibid.


After glancing through the American statement both Foreign Minister Toyoda and Mr. Terasaki questioned the American reference to the Japanese proposals delivered to Secretary Hull on September 4, 1941. Foreign Minister Toyoda explained that he did not have in his possession the text of the draft proposal delivered on September 4, 1941 by Ambassador Nomura to Secretary Hull. Nevertheless, the Tokyo officials insisted that the Japanese draft of September 4, 1941 did not cancel any of the terms upon which previous agreements had been reached with the United States during the conversations in Washington. However, Foreign Minister Toyoda and Mr. Terasaki emphasized the fact that their remarks in this connection were unofficial.[254]

60. Foreign Minister Toyoda Inquires Concerning Ambassador Nomura's Proposal of September 4, 1941

Since Foreign Minister Toyoda had not been informed of the contents of the proposal submitted to the United States by Ambassador Nomura on September 4, 1941 and mentioned by Ambassador Grew during the conversation held on September 10, 1941, he asked that information concerning it be sent to him by the Japanese Ambassador in Washington.[255]

61. Ambassador Nomura Explains Purpose of Proposals of September 4, 1941

In his reply Ambassador Nomura stated that, acting upon his own initiative to sound out American opinion, he had submitted a number of additional revisions to the original American proposal, and had presented them to Secretary Hull on September 4, 1941 as his own suggestions. At that time Ambassador Nomura had not received his government's reply to the American proposals, but having since received it, he had withdrawn his own suggestions.[256]

62. Hull-Nomura Conversation (September 10, 1941)

(a) State Department's Report[257]

Complying with the instructions of the Japanese government, Ambassador Nomura and Mr. Obata called at Secretary Hull's apartment on September 10, 1941 to discuss President Roosevelt's forthcoming speech. Since any indiscriminate reference to Japanese-American relations could stimulate pro-Axis activity in Japan, the Japanese Ambassador expressed the wish that discretion be employed in mentioning such incidents as the Greer incident because of its possible effect on the extremist elements in his country. Although refusing to give any indication of the contents of President Roosevelt's speech, which he stated had already been prepared, Secretary Hull assured Ambassador Nomura that he thoroughly understood the desirability for avoiding anything which would be detrimental to Japanese-American relations.

Ambassador Nomura requested Secretary Hull's reaction to the Japanese proposals of September 6, 1941. Commenting that these proposals narrowed the spirit and scope of previous understandings which had related to a broad and liberal agreement covering the entire Pacific area, and that in view of Germany's attempted world conquest, the Tripartite Pact could only be interpreted as a military alliance, Secretary Hull said the new proposals did not meet these difficulties.

Mr. Obata remarked that the recent Japanese proposals did not limit in any way the spirit of previous tentative agreements or the original proposal. In order, therefore, to eliminate any misunderstanding, Secretary Hull suggested that Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Ballantine discuss any disputable points in the proposals with Ambassador Nomura and Mr. Obata.

[254] "Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)", September 10, 1941, S.D., II, 610.
[255] III, 154.
[256] III, 155.
[257] "Memorandum of a conversation", September 10, 1941, S.D., II, 613-614.



Agreeing with the Japanese Ambassador who stressed the necessity of proceeding immediately with definite negotiations for peace, Secretary Hull declared nevertheless that conversations for discovering any divergent policies must be conducted in Washington, and not in Tokyo as suggested to Ambassador Grew by Foreign Minister Toyoda. However, Ambassador Grew had been instructed to explain any points which were not clear to the Japanese government and to obtain clarification of the Japanese point of view, if necessary.[258]

(b) Ambassador Nomura's Report[259]

Acting upon the instructions received from Tokyo, Ambassador Nomura called on Secretary Hull on the morning of September 10, 1941 in order to request that President Roosevelt make no reference to the Japanese-American situation in his broadcast regarding the Greer incident. Although Secretary Hull refused to commit himself in any way he agreed to the necessity of maintaining strict secrecy in all Japanese-American negotiations. Secretary Hull remarked that although there was a discrepancy between the American and German accounts of the Greer incident, the consistency of past American reports, and the constantly contradictory statements of Chancellor Hitler made it apparent that the United States' announcement was the more reliable.

To Ambassador Nomura's inquiry concerning the time when an answer to the Japanese government's proposals of September 6, 1941 might be expected, Secretary Hull replied that he had not found the opportunity to discuss the Japanese proposals personally with President Roosevelt since the last Cabinet meeting had been held on the previous Friday. However, he promised to confer with President Roosevelt following the broadcast on September 11, 1941. Secretary Hull indicated his dissatisfaction because the Japanese government had narrowed the scope of the proposed agreement by its latest document.[260]

Ambassador Nomura pointed out that concessions already agreed upon in previous discussions had been omitted from these latest Japanese proposals, and he had discussed only those points upon which no agreement had yet been reached. According to Ambassador Nomura, the United States was attempting to find the stand which Great Britain, China and the Netherlands intended to take on the question.[261]

63. Japanese-American Conversation (September 10, 1941)

(a) State Department's Report[262]

Pursuant to the arrangements made by Secretary Hull and Ambassador Nomura earlier in the day, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ballantine, and Mr. Schmidt conferred at the Japanese Embassy about various points contained in the Japanese proposals of September 6, 1941. According to Mr. Obata, both he and Ambassador Nomura had been surprised at the United States' "misapprehension" that the proposals impeded the progress made in the informal conversations. According to both Japanese representatives the Japanese government intended that its latest proposals should supplement the points previously agreed upon during the informal conversations in Washington, and should confirm the commitments made by Prince Konoye through Ambassador Nomura to President Roosevelt.

When asked by Mr. Ballantine if Japan believed that the American statement of June 21, 1941 still represented a basis for a proposed agreement between the two governments, Mr.

[258] Ibid.
[259] III, 156-157.
[260] III, 156.
[261] III, 157.
[262] "Memorandum of a conversation", September 10, 1941, initialed by Max W. Schmidt, S.D., II, 614-619.


Obata replied in the affirmative. At the same time he added that the document given to Secretary Hull by Ambassador Nomura on September 4, 1941 had not been referred to Tokyo, and, thus, merely represented Ambassador Nomura's personal opinion and not the official views of the Japanese government.

Mr. Ballantine then observed that there still appeared to be certain inconsistencies between the proposals made by the Japanese government on September 6, 1941, and earlier Japanese statements. Referring to portions of the Japanese proposals which were believed to modify previous commitments, Mr. Ballantine discussed Japan's attitude toward aggression in French Indo-China. In conveying broad assurances of the peaceful intentions of the Japanese government, Prince Konoye had previously guaranteed the withdrawal of troops from this territory, but in the document received by Secretary Hull on September 6, 1941 Japan agreed only to refrain from advancing into areas adjoining French Indo-China.

Mr. Obata replied that Prince Konoye's proposals had not in any way been modified, and when Mr. Ballantine commented on the difference in the two Japanese proposals in one of which Japan promised not to attack to the north, and in the other it undertook not to attack to the south of the Empire, Mr. Obata insisted that Japan did not plan to use military force against any nation without any justifiable reasons. However, he agreed to inquire whether "north" or "south" were meant in the proposal, and whether "without any justifiable reason" applied to areas adjoining Indo-China as well as north or south of Japan.

Since the question of Japanese-Chinese cooperation had remained an issue throughout the negotiations, Mr. Ballantine turned to the problems opposing a satisfactory settlement. Although Mr. Obata and Ambassador Nomura were somewhat vague regarding their government's position, both expressed belief that Tokyo still desired the assistance of President Roosevelt in effecting a reconciliation. As had been pointed out in previous conversations, however, the American officials declared that before the United States government could approach Chungking with a Japanese peace proposal, the policies of Japan would have to conform with the fundamental principles to which the governments of both the United States and Japan be committed. Reiterating that peace would be accomplished only by the adoption of a broad, progressive policy in all international relations as well as by avoiding any bitterness on the part of China, Mr. Hamilton insisted that the best interests of Japan lay in this direction.

In the past, the Japanese government had not honored its commitments, Mr. Hamilton stated, and therefore, Japan must now prove the sincerity of its intentions by some definite action such as the withdrawal of troops from occupied territories. Mr. Obata concurred with these statements. Nevertheless, he pointed out that the withdrawal of armed forces from China presented a difficult problem. Therefore, he suggested that the United States make a draft of the commitments which they desired Japan to make relating to the China Incident. But Mr. Ballantine observed that the Japanese government was in a better position to draw up a document embodying its plans.

From the phraseology of clause (e) of the Japanese proposals, which Mr. Obata conceded was bad, it had appeared to the American government that Japan felt that it was entitled to special rights in China. In view of this, Mr. Ballantine questioned the Japanese representatives concerning the future application of nondiscriminatory commercial practices by Japan in China and throughout the entire Pacific area.

At this time Mr. Ballantine handed to Mr. Obata, for the consideration of the Japanese government, a tentative redraft of Section V of the Japanese proposals of September 6, 1941, which American economic experts had prepared to clarify the commercial activities of both nations in the Pacific.[263] It stated that by pledging themselves to conform to the principles of

[263] Ibid.



nondiscrimination in international commercial relations, both Japan and the United States agreed to create an international trade and investment situation conducive to the mutual acquisition of essential commodities. Both governments were to co-operate with each other in obtaining such basic supplies, on a nondiscriminatory basis, as oil, rubber, tin, and nickel, as well as other products essential to maintain their economic life.[264]

After completing the discussion of Japan's tentative commitments, the American representatives turned to the reciprocal measures which the Japanese proposals called upon the American government to make. If the Japanese government were to offer China a just and equitable settlement, Mr. Ballantine believed that there would be no difficulties in achieving an acceptable agreement. Therefore, America did not share the Japanese belief that the continuation of United States' aid to China would be detrimental to Japan's conclusion of the China Incident.

As Secretary Hull had previously informed Ambassador Nomura, the United States, before concluding any agreement with Japan regarding the Pacific area, intended to confer with the Chinese government and other nations sharing responsibilities in the Pacific, since the problems involved could not be solved by the United States and Japan alone. Mr. Ballantine said that Ambassador Grew had been fully informed of the attitude of the American government.

As the conference drew to a close, Mr. Obata suggested that the United States prepare a complete statement embodying all the earlier proposals made by both America and Japan. Mr. Hamilton replied that it would be more desirable to have changed the questions which the United States had raised in this meeting before drafting a new agreement. Mr. Obata concurred and promised to have a reply from Tokyo by the next afternoon.

In the opinion of the American representatives, neither Ambassador Nomura nor Mr. Obata knew definitely the intentions of their government. The Japanese representatives were certain only that Tokyo desired that the meeting of the two government heads take place in the immediate future.[265]

(b) Ambassador Nomura's Report

At the request of Secretary Hull the American officials, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ballantine and Mr. Schmidt, had called at the Japanese Embassy to raise certain questions regarding the Japanese proposal submitted to the American government on September 6, 1941.[266]

Referring to the "undertakings" of Japan the American representatives had asked for a specific explanation of "matters upon which the two countries have agreed during the preliminary informal conversations". They also questioned whether the draft of the Japanese-American understandings formulated during the past negotiations could now provide the basis for a future agreement. Further inquiries were made concerning the words "without any justifiable reason" which Japan had included in clause (b) of its statement regarding its further expansion in the Far East.

Although Messrs. Hamilton, Ballantine and Schmidt had requested an explanation of the entire clause (d) in relation to the withdrawing of troops from China, Ambassador Nomura avoided making a definite statement, since it would involve a discussion of the stationing of these troops for anti-Communistic purposes.[267]

[264] "Draft statement given to the Japanese Ambassador (Nomura)", September 10, 1941, S.D., II, 619. For the Japanese version of this message, wired to Tokyo on September 10, 1941, see III, 158.
[265] "Memorandum of a conversation", September 10, 1941, initialed by Max W. Schmidt, S.D., II, 614-619.
[266] III, 159.
[267] III, 160.


Ambassador Nomura stated that the American officials had been given the impression by the latest Japanese proposals that in spite of its guarantee to preserve the principle of equal treatment throughout the entire Pacific area, Japan desired to hold a special position in China.[268]

In view of this and other considerations Mr. Hamilton in his conversation with Ambassador Nomura on September 10, 1941 requested a redraft of the proposals relating to economic activities.[269]

64. Publicity Concerning Mr. Kasai Arouses Japanese Concern

To effect control over information released to newspapers, Tokyo directed Ambassador Nomura to warn Mr. Kasai, a member of the Japanese Diet who had recently arrived in the United States, to refrain from making further comments on Japanese-American negotiations.[270] Through newspaper articles in which he had expressed opinions on the present political situation and, in particular, his views in regard to the Tripartite Pact, Mr. Kasai had already added greatly to the tension existing between the two countries.

Consequently, Mr. Yiguti asked that Mr. Kasai curtail his activities. In defense of his actions, Mr. Kasai explained that he had tried sincerely to better the situation. He regretted, therefore, that his opinions, which had been constantly exaggerated by newspapermen, had jeopardized current Japanese-American relations.[271]

65. Ambassador Nomura Appraises American Attitude Toward New Japanese Proposals

From Ambassador Nomura's report of September 11, 1941, based on preliminary Japanese-American negotiations, it was evident that the major difficulty encountered stemmed from the stationing of Japanese troops in China for allegedly anti-Communistic purposes. Because of its obligations to China and the opposition of domestic public opinion, the United States found it impossible to recognize the terms of the Tokyo-Nanking Agreement.

In the message of June 21, 1941 the American government had expressed its desire that a new agreement be drawn up between China and Japan whereby Japanese troops would be removed from China at the earliest possible moment. Recently, the American attitude had become more forceful, and it now demanded that Japan complete the evacuation of troops from China within a two year period after the resumption of peaceful relations. According to Ambassador Nomura, the strengthened attitude of the United States had resulted from its talks with China.[272] Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

In regard to various other points included in the Japanese proposals, Ambassador Nomura entertained little doubt that a successful agreement could be reached concerning them. Nevertheless, there was an actual danger that Japanese-American negotiations would fail as a result of the disagreement on troop evacuations. In order to overcome this obstacle, Ambassador Nomura, suggesting that the Japanese government agree to remove its troops within two years after the restoration of peace, declared that an immediate and definite decision on this point would increase the probable success of future negotiations. The State Department had already inquired about Japan's position regarding its troops in China,[273] and in spite of four notes presented by representatives of the Japanese government, Japan's interpretation of several phrases still caused certain doubts about the proposed agreements.[274]

[268] III, 161.
[269] III, 162.
[270] III, 163.
[271] III, 164.
[272] III, 165.
[273] III, 166.
[274] III, 159.



Though the matter of evacuating troops from occupied China was actually a problem to be settled only between Japan and China, the question had been introduced into the negotiations with America in view of a possible agreement with the United States to have it use its good offices in ending the China Incident. Therefore, Ambassador Nomura suggested that the Japanese government agree to accept the terms of the United States in order to bring about the desired understanding.

Considerable time would elapse after the leaders' conference and the resulting peace conference, and although Japan would agree to evacuate its troops within two years after the resumption of peaceful relations, world affairs might make it essential that Japan enter into a new agreement which would extend the period of garrisoning Japanese troops in China. Because of circumstances existing in the future, Japan might even prolong the time limit in the name of protecting its nationals' lives and property. Through this method, no conflict would arise with Japan's established national policy.[275]

Because of various domestic problems in Japan, Ambassador Nomura recognized the difficulty in making this concession. The phrase "stationing of troops to counter Communism" would be deleted from the proposals, but, instead a clause would be inserted to permit a certain number of troops to "act in cooperation with the Chinese to counter acts which imperil the tranquillity of the nation (non-militaristic in nature)".

Taking this opportunity to discuss the attitude of the Japanese press regarding the possibility of an understanding between the United States and Japan, Ambassador Nomura assured his Foreign Office that optimistic views were neither warranted nor to the interest of Japan. At press conferences in Washington, Secretary Hull had stated that there were still serious and delicate problems to be settled, and in view of this attitude, Ambassador Nomura asked that Tokyo guide accordingly the editorial policies of Japanese papers.[276]

66. Japan Instructs Ambassador Nomura Not To Change Diplomatic Documents

On September 11, 1941 in answer to Ambassador Nomura's request for approval of certain changes he had made in Prime Minister Konoye's message to President Roosevelt and in the Japanese government's reply,[277] Tokyo informed him that all important documents were submitted to both the government and the controlling factions of the political parties for approval before being transmitted abroad. If Ambassador Nomura had any doubts regarding points in one of these messages, Tokyo requested that he cable all inquiries and suggestions to the Foreign Office before delivering the texts to the American government, since extreme caution had to be exercised in maintaining liaison with the various departments concerned.[278]

Ambassador Nomura replied on September 17, 1941 that such a procedure was very logical. In view of the strict precautions taken by the Tokyo Foreign Office in sending these dispatches Ambassador Nomura felt deeply responsible for the inadvertent omissions made in certain transmissions.[279]

67. Ambassador Nomura Appraises President Roosevelt's Speech

As had been previously announced, on September 11, 1941 President Roosevelt spoke over the radio concerning the official attitude of the United States toward the Greer incident. Be-

[275] III, 167.
[276] III, 168.
[277] III, 81.
[278] III, 169.
[279] III, 170.


cause Tokyo had believed that the speech might have a significant effect on current Japanese-American relations, Ambassador Nomura submitted his impression of it on the following day.[280]

Ambassador Nomura believed it to be a strong speech actually amounting to a challenge of war, and though delivered in a grave tone of voice, without resorting to strong expressions, it was "comparable to a clenched fist clothed in a silk glove". From various newspaper reports, which appeared to be in favor of President Roosevelt, it was assumed that he had succeeded in accomplishing his purpose.[281]

Nevertheless, a portion of the American people was opposed to President Roosevelt's policies. Expressing the opinion of this minority group at a meeting of the America First Committee at Des Moines, Iowa, Colonel Lindbergh stated that a three-party alliance composed of England, Jewry and the Roosevelt Administration were leading the United States into war.[282]

In Ambassador Nomura's own opinion there were many other factors driving the United States into the war. Because of the great expansion of productive and economic organizations undertaken under the pretext of national defense, the United States was obliged to join the war in order to prevent their disintegration. According to the Japanese Ambassador, the Greer incident had been welcomed by President Roosevelt as a means of turning public opinion in his favor.[283]

68. Chungking and Nanking Governments Opposed to Japanese-American War

By correlating information collected from various Chinese sources, Tokyo was able to notify its Embassy in Washington on September 12, 1941 of Chungking's attitude toward Japanese-American negotiations.[284] Allegedly suffering because of selfish American interests and receiving little support for a counter-offensive against Japan, Chungking was reported as being in constant anxiety over the American policies in the Far East. It was the general belief in Chungking that the outcome of the Japanese-American conversations depended largely upon the Russo-German war. On the other hand, even in the event that a compromise was effected between the United States and Japan, Chungking felt that it would not effect the United States' attitude toward China.

Through the American Ambassador to China, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek had proposed that the settlement of a Japanese-Chinese peace be based on President Roosevelt's eight point principles (Atlantic Charter?). To this suggestion Secretary Hull had answered that China would not be sacrificed by the United States. While there were a few in the Chungking government who believed that war between Japan and the United States would be advantageous to China, the general opinion was that such a war would reduce the material aid from the United States and, therefore, it would prove unprofitable to Chungking. A recent conference held by Chungking leaders had not been able to reconcile these divergent views.[285]

Influential officials of the Chungking government had stated that if the United States sought temporary stability at the cost of Chungking, instead of forcing Japan into submission, the Chinese government would continue to resist Japanese aggression unaided. Mr. Sun Fo, a member of the Central Executive Yuan, desired even stronger action. However, since these views were expressed in accordance with a propaganda order of the Chungking government, Japan did not regard them as representative of the true psychology of the government.

[280] III, 171.
[281] Ibid.
[282] III, 172.
[283] III, 171.
[284] III, 173.
[285] Ibid.



Although no serious consideration had as yet been given to the Nanking government's relation to a Japanese-American war, a report made by Ambassador Kumataro Honda indicated that Nanking believed the United States had no intention of fighting against Japan. If war did break out, however, these Nanking officials, impressed with the power of the United States, appeared certain of the inevitability of Japan's defeat. Since the foundation upon which the People's government was built would be gravely imperiled by such a war, Nanking was anxious to have war in the Far East averted.[286]

69. Foreign Minister Toyoda Clarifies Points in Japanese Proposals (September 13, 1941)

(a) Ambassador Grew's Report[287]

To discuss divergencies in view arising from the Japanese proposals, Ambassador Grew attended a meeting, at which Foreign Minister Toyoda, Mr. Terasaki and Mr. Inagaki, of the American Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Office, and Counselor Dooman, of the American Embassy, were present. The Foreign Minister opened the conference by reading instructions which were being telegraphed to Ambassador Nomura as the official Japanese reply to queries made by the United States government on September 10, 1941.[288]

These instructions stipulated that the tentative commitments formulated by the Japanese government on September 6, 1941, together with the points agreed upon during the informal conversations at Washington, were to constitute the basis for an understanding between the United States and Japan. Apparently, the United States had misunderstood Japan's attitude towards American arbitration of the China affair, for Japan still desired the assistance of President Roosevelt in settling this matter.

Referring to the term "without any justifiable reason", the Tokyo government explained that this point related to Japan's promise to refrain from any military advance into regions lying south of Japan. However, in order to prevent Communistic and other subversive activities from threatening the security of both Japan and China, Tokyo proposed that Japanese troops be stationed in China for the execution of common defense, in accordance with an agreement between both countries. Since the United States had exhibited considerable apprehension regarding Japan's violation of American rights and interests in China, the Japanese government had stated in its proposals that American economic activities would not be restricted so long as they were pursued on an equitable basis. Moreover, in spite of the close economic relations that would exist between Japan and China as a result of their geographical positions, the Japanese government had no desire to establish monopolistic or preferential rights for itself in China. Not only in the Southwest Pacific, but throughout the Far East, Japan promised adherence to the principle of commercial nondiscrimination.

After clarifying the terms of its tentative commitments, the Japanese government then proceeded to explain further the reciprocal measures expected of the United States. In asking the United States to refrain from any actions prejudicial to Japanese endeavors toward settling the China Incident, Tokyo requested that aid to the Chiang Kai-shek regime be discontinued.[289]

[286] III, 174.
[287] "Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)", September 13, 1941, S.D., II, 620-622.
[288] "Proposed instructions to the Japanese Ambassador (Nomura) handed by the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Toyoda) to the American Ambassador in Japan (Grew)", September 13, 1941, S.D., II, 623-624. These instructions were sent to Ambassador Nomura by Foreign Minister Toyoda on September 13, 1941. See III, 175-176.
[289] Ibid.


At the request of the Japanese Foreign Minister, Mr. Terasaki then read another statement expounding Japan's motives in extending the proposals of September 6, 1941. In order to obviate detailed discussions which would delay the proposed meeting between President Roosevelt and Prince Konoye, the Japanese government had drawn up these latest commitments with the intention of embodying therein all points upon which previous agreement had been made. Rather than curtail former commitments in any way, the Japanese government would even prefer to transcend the scope of the understandings formulated during the informal conferences. Japan would be willing to discuss the details once it had been agreed that a meeting of the heads of the two governments would be held.

In spite of the Japanese desire that the agreements between the United States and Japan be bilateral in nature, Tokyo entertained no objection to the United States' consulting with Holland, Great Britain or other countries which might be affected by the negotiations.

In conclusion Foreign Minister Toyoda expressed the desire that President Roosevelt be informed in detail of these discussions since he understood that his proposals of September 4, 1941 had not yet been seen by the President. To this last remark Ambassador Grew stated that Secretary Hull was constantly in communication with President Roosevelt and was responsible for deciding what data should be brought to President Roosevelt's attention.

After listening to the statement read by Mr. Terasaki, Ambassador Grew replied that the proposals delivered to him by the Foreign Minister on September 4, 1941 and to Secretary Hull by Ambassador Nomura on September 6, 1941 were still being reviewed by the United States' government. However, with the success of the proposed meeting in view, and mindful of the disastrous effects of a failure, America wished to clarify, in preliminary conversations, any divergent points in the proposals.

Foreign Minister Toyoda then delivered oral answers to the questions brought up by Ambassador Grew during a previous meeting. Referring to Ambassador Nomura's statement of September 4, 1941, Foreign Minister Toyoda again pointed out that it had contained only the personal views of the Japanese Ambassador and, consequently, could not be treated officially, especially since it had been withdrawn by Ambassador Nomura.

Insofar as the question on discrimination in commercial matters was concerned, the Japanese Foreign Minister assured Ambassador Grew that his government intended to observe equality in China and throughout the Pacific. The problems pertaining to China were to be discussed more fully in a reply to Mr. Hamilton's remarks made at a Washington conference.[290] Since the significance of the words "equitable basis" had been questioned, Foreign Minister Toyoda asserted that this referred to activities which were non-monopolistic and non-exploitive in nature.

The Japanese explanation of "equitable basis" stated that although qualified somewhat by certain inevitable natural limitations, resulting largely from Japan's geographical situation, this term guaranteed the application of the principle of nondiscrimination in all economic dealings. Japan was not to be the sole judge in interpreting what constituted an "equitable basis".[291]

With reference to the formula relating to the attitudes of Japan and the United States toward the European war, Admiral Toyoda stated that he would refrain from making comment

[290] "Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)", September 13, 1941, S.D., 620-622.
[291] Foreign Minister Toyoda wired the interpretation of "equitable basis" to Ambassador Nomura on September 13, 1941. See III, 177-178.



until such time as the United States brought up the question. However, he deemed it advisable that the matter be discussed by President Roosevelt and Prince Konoye at the proposed meeting.

Because of the dangerous internal situation existing in Japan, and because of the efforts of third powers to forestall a Japanese-American alliance, Foreign Minister Toyoda emphasized the urgency of an immediate meeting between President Roosevelt and Prince Konoye. The Japanese Foreign Minister reminded Ambassador Grew again that the anniversary of the Tripartite Pact would be celebrated on September 27, 1941. In view of Foreign Minister Toyoda's great desire for speedy action, Ambassador Grew promised to transmit his views to Secretary Hull again. He also stated that the State Department desired to continue the discussions in Washington rather than in Tokyo.[292]

(b) Foreign Minister Toyoda's Report[293]

Foreign Minister Toyoda informed Ambassador Nomura on September 13, 1941 that he had explained Japan's position to Ambassador Grew in accordance with the instructions he was sending in a separate dispatch.[294] He had also elucidated the meaning of "equitable basis" as used in the text of the Japanese proposal.[295]

70. Foreign Minister Toyoda Upholds Japanese Proposals

In a message to Ambassador Nomura on September 13, 1941 Foreign Minister Toyoda declared that although President Roosevelt had not yet considered the Japanese proposals, several important points had been adequately discussed therein.[296] The preliminary parleys desired by the United States had been included in the statement, despite Japan's objection that such parleys involved discussions of minutiae, and as a result became long drawn out. In a mere repetition of the various steps already discussed, administrative officials could produce no immediate results. Only a statesmanlike consultation between the leaders of the two countries could be successful at this point.

Japan desired to reach some agreement with the United States concerning the whole situation. With this purpose in view, Foreign Minister Toyoda asked that Ambassador Nomura bring the contents of his reference message[297] to the attention of President Roosevelt with a request that the President explain his own intentions.

It was evident that Japan stressed a general settlement, based on the view of the situation in its entirety rather than on individual questions. By reducing the business and legal discussions to a minimum, a conference of the two leaders could be convened without further delay, using Foreign Minister Toyoda's message[298] as the basis for this major conversation. If this general meeting took place, conferences covering specific problems could be resumed as necessary.

For Japan to accept without modification the four principles laid down by the United States would give the general impression that it had submitted to American pressure. If then it were made known that the United States were consulting with Great Britain, the Netherlands, China and other interested nations regarding its dealings with Japan, the world at large would interpret this action as a revival of the nine-power treaty policy.

[292] S.D., II, 622.
[293] III, 175.
[294] See III, 176.
[295] See III, 177-178.
[296] See III, 179.
[297] See III, 122.
[298] Ibid.


Foreign Minister Toyoda pointed out the importance of keeping the parley, both in form and fact, a negotiation between only Japan and the United States. Although recognizing that the United States would confer with those countries as a matter of form, the Japanese government did not wish the conference to develop into an agreement among many countries.[299]

The Foreign Minister stressed that he did not intend to reject the questions raised in the American reply of September 12, 1941 [300] but wished to emphasize the points contained in his own proposals.[301]

71. Ambassador Nomura Stresses the Need for Preliminary Conversations

In spite of Japan's conviction that its proposals formed a satisfactory and workable basis for peace, Ambassador Nomura nevertheless recognized the urgent need for preliminary conferences to overcome some of the difficulties arising from divergent viewpoints.

In summing up the diplomatic situation on September 15, 1941 for his Foreign Office, Ambassador Nomura noted that President Roosevelt had already stated that if the Pacific problems could not be solved in the preliminary conversations between the Japanese Ambassador and Secretary Hull, they would remain unsettled regardless of who participated in the conference,[302] especially since Secretary Hull had said that he had never disagreed with President Roosevelt on foreign policies.

Referring to the phrases "Communistic and other subversive activity", and "common defense in China", appearing in Foreign Minister Toyoda's last message, Ambassador Nomura expressed the opinion that these terms would create future problems between Japan and the United States. Since the United States wanted to know the prospective peace terms between Japan and China and refused to act as an intermediary in any unjust negotiations, Ambassador Nomura felt that Japan must outline its policies toward China in more concrete terms. Unless the opinions of both Japan and the United States on this and related problems coincided at the preliminary conversations, no meeting could be held between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Konoye.

After viewing the national characteristics of the United States and the position of President Roosevelt, Ambassador Nomura was certain that the interpretation of the Tripartite Pact could not be accomplished from a political standpoint by the "leaders" at the conference. He declared that if an agreement could not be reached at the preliminary meeting there would be no "leaders" conference. Although the United States had expressed the desire to discuss Japanese-American negotiations with the governments of Great Britain, China and the Netherlands, it did not wish to include a third power in the agreement between Japan and the United States. The American motive for revealing its Far Eastern policy to the other countries was to eliminate the fear that the United States was sacrificing them in an effort to effect an understanding with Japan.

In spite of the apparent insignificance of his diplomatic work Ambassador Nomura assured Foreign Minister Toyoda that he would continue to carry out all instructions concerning the proposed negotiations. However, he intended to drop any discussions of the points being dealt with in Tokyo, and to watch merely for any new developments.[303]

[299] See III, 179.
[300] See III, 148.
[301] See III, 122.
[302] III, 180.
[303] Ibid.



72. Ambassador Grew Confers with Ambassador Shigemitsu (September 17, 1941)

In Tokyo the Japanese government took the initiative in attempting to reach an agreement on the divergent views mentioned by Ambassador Nomura. Probably with both the knowledge and approval of either Prince Konoye or Foreign Minister Toyoda, Mr. Shigemitsu, the Japanese Ambassador recently recalled from England, met with Ambassador Grew to discuss current issues between Japan and the United States.[304]

In reviewing Japan's attitude toward the informal conversations, Mr. Shigemitsu said that his government was united in its efforts to bring about an adjustment of relations with America. However, in order to prevent the mobilization of anti-American forces in Japan, the discussions must culminate in an agreement without delay, for should Prime Minister Konoye's endeavors fail, the efforts of other Japanese statesmen would also be futile.

In explaining to Mr. Shigemitsu the grave dangers of attempting official negotiations without adequate preliminary understandings, Ambassador Grew pointed out the broad interpretation which could be applied to the Japanese proposals. Moreover, past experience in dealing with the Japanese government had discouraged the United States concerning Japan's ability and sincerity in carrying out commitments.

Since the present Japanese Cabinet was supported by the responsible chiefs of the armed forces, Mr. Shigemitsu believed that no such difficulties would arise after the present negotiations had been completed. Any agreement undertaken with the American government would be faithfully executed in the course of time by the Japanese.

Emphasizing that what he was about to say was in the strictest confidence, Mr. Shigemitsu further stated that even during Mr. Matsuoko's tenure of office and Japan's strict adherence to Axis policies, the Japanese Emperor had desired the establishment of closer relations with both the United States and England. It had been for this reason that Mr. Shigemitsu had been recalled from London.[305]

73. Mr. Ushiba Calls on Mr. Dooman (September 17, 1941)

Anxious to determine whether these conversations in Tokyo were furthering the aims of Japanese-American negotiations, Mr. Ushiba, Prince Konoye's private secretary, visited Counselor Dooman on September 17, 1941 to ask if Washington had made any comments on the secret meeting between Ambassador Grew and the Japanese Prime Minister on September 6, 1941.[306]

According to Mr. Dooman, Secretary Hull had telegraphed his appreciation of the attitude exhibited by Prince Konoye throughout his conversations with Mr. Grew, but the statement handed by Ambassador Nomura to Secretary Hull on September 4, 1941 had so confused the issues at stake that Ambassador Grew had not felt justified in seeking another interview with Prime Minister Konoye.

Assuring Mr. Dooman that the Japanese Cabinet had been disturbed over Ambassador Nomura's actions in this matter, Mr. Ushiba revealed that Prince Konoye had telegraphed Ambassador Nomura a statement in reply to the American draft of June 21, 1941. However, in view of the Cabinet crisis which had arisen in Japan at that time, Ambassador Nomura had withheld that document and had composed instead a brief memorandum which had been of little help. Since in his recent memorandum Ambassador Nomura had neglected to men-

[304] "Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)", September 17, 1941, S.D., II, 624-625.
[305] Ibid.
[306] "Memorandum by the Counselor of Embassy in Japan (Dooman)", September 18, 1941, S.D. II, 626-629.


tion Japan's desire that President Roosevelt take part in Japanese-Chinese peace plans, another misunderstanding had arisen. Ambassador Grew commented that a week's delay had ensued through no fault of the American government.

Mr. Ushiba did not object to America's desire to understand the aims and objectives of the Japanese before making arrangements for a meeting between the heads of the two governments. Moreover, although his government proposed to maintain the principle of the open door in China, he realized that Japan had failed, despite months of informal conversations in Washington, to indicate any exact plan for accomplishing this. Therefore, Mr. Ushiba suggested that the United States ask Japan to disclose its definite terms for peace with China.

Mr. Dooman reminded Mr. Ushiba that the American government had often indicated its desire to know and, in the June 21, 1941 draft, had specifically asked for Japan's peace terms. It had been assumed, therefore, that Japan had been unwilling to disclose them. Mr. Ushiba was certain that Prince Konoye, as evidence of the good faith of the Japanese government, would communicate Japan's ideas on peace with China to Ambassador Grew. It was agreed that Mr. Ushiba would take the initiative in suggesting that Prince Konoye communicate the terms to Ambassador Grew. On the other hand, Ambassador Grew, if he felt able to do so, would inform Prince Konoye of his desire to learn these terms.

The discussions then turned to the attitude of Japan and the United States toward the European war. Although he felt that Japan could not give a prior guarantee to interpret as defensive any action of the United States against Germany, Mr. Ushiba, nevertheless, believed that Prince Konoye would be able to give assurances concerning Japan's attitude toward the European war which would meet with the approval of President Roosevelt. However, the manner in which the Japanese government would explain to Germany about an understanding reached with the United States was of great concern to Tokyo. Mr. Dooman assured Mr. Ushiba that the United States would not request Japan to betray its treaty commitments.

Continuing in this vein, Mr. Dooman stated that usually in treaties of alliance any policies formulated were designed to serve the common end of those concerned with the agreement. In the Tripartite alliance, therefore, there seemed to be no obligation on Japan's part to conform to principles benefiting Germany exclusively. In view of this attitude, Japan could inform Berlin that it had undertaken an understanding with the United States, although it was still prepared to fulfill its obligations under Article III of the Tripartite Pact.

With regard to former Foreign Minister Matsuoka's interpretation of the treaty with Germany, Mr. Dooman pointed out that, after returning from Moscow, Mr. Matsuoka had expressed the belief that in the event of war between Germany and the United States, Japan would join the war on the side of the Axis powers.

Mr. Ushiba expressed amazement at Mr. Matsuoka's statement, and said that though he was aware that Mr. Matsuoka had differed with Prince Konoye on the interpretation of Article III, he had not been aware that Mr. Matsuoka had disclosed this information to foreign representatives. At the same time, however, he mentioned that during the period of the last Japanese Cabinet change, Mr. Matsuoka had informed the Prime Minister that Ambassador Grew had reported to Washington that the governmental change in Japan was due to American pressure.

Repudiating this idea, Mr. Dooman stated that Ambassador Grew had reported to Washington that the Japanese Cabinet change was due, first, to the German attack on Soviet Russia, which had upset the Japanese theory that peace would be maintained between Germany and Russia; and, second, the conflict between the Prime Minister and Mr. Matsuoka regarding the scope and significance of the Tripartite Pact. Mr. Ushiba then confirmed these assumptions.



As the conference drew to a close, Mr. Ushiba again stressed the necessity of America's accepting the Japanese proposal without delay.[307] A day later, September 18, 1941, Mr. Ushiba telephoned to Mr. Dooman to say that within a day or two Prince Konoye would give Ambassador Grew the terms of peace which Japan would offer China.[308]

74. Ambassador Nomura Urges Japan to Make a New Proposal

On September 17, 1941, Ambassador Nomura sent a report to Tokyo summarizing the situation which was preventing the completion of successful Japanese-American negotiations. Of the three main points debated during the informal conversations, both Japan and the United States had agreed in principle on two. At a meeting with President Roosevelt on August 6, 1941, Ambassador Nomura said that Prime Minister Konoye was so confident concerning the reaching of an agreement on the point regarding the evacuation of Japanese troops from China, that he was prepared to attend a meeting with President Roosevelt. However, Secretary Hull, referring to Japan's proposal of June 24, 1941, felt that certain other points needed clarification.[309]

Foreign Minister Toyoda had informed Ambassador Nomura on July 23, 1941 that he had not been in office long enough to decide upon a definite policy regarding the evacuation of troops from China. Because the occupation of French Indo-China had been decided upon before Admiral Toyoda had assumed his position as the new Foreign Minister, there was no way of preventing it. However, motivated by the desire to defend French Indo-China, the Japanese government had carried out this action peacefully, and in order to decrease the existing friction between Japan and the United States as a result of this aggression, Foreign Minister Toyoda had asked Ambassador Nomura to explain to the United States the reasons for this occupation. He was to point out that any pressure exerted by the United States would unduly excite the Japanese public and would only serve to intensify the critical situation.[310] Since negotiations had ceased about this time and had not been reopened until the recent message had been sent, Ambassador Nomura had found it impossible to carry out his instructions of July 15, 1941.

Ambassador Nomura believed that Secretary Hull's concern for the Japanese proposal of June 24, 1941 stemmed from his numerous conferences with Ambassador Nomura in which he had discussed the principal points contained therein in accordance with Foreign Minister Toyoda's instructions of May 11, 1941. Therefore, Ambassador Nomura believed that the United States would prefer that the terms of any preliminary agreement be formulated along the general lines contained in that proposal. Furthermore, Ambassador Nomura advised that in the event that these preliminary discussions take place, Secretary Hull insisted that they be held in Washington.[311]

Because of the attitude expressed by the United States, it seemed doubtful that an understanding could result merely from the Japanese proposal of September 4, 1941. In any event, Ambassador Nomura was convinced that the primary task of the Japanese government was to find terms acceptable to both countries in regard to the three points at issue, particularly to the matter of garrisoning Japanese troops in Chinese territory.

From a secret source of information, Ambassador Nomura learned that President Roosevelt was seriously considering a meeting with Prime Minister Konoye if proper arrangements could be made. In fact, the atmosphere of the recent American Cabinet meeting had been one of anticipation concerning the proposed Japanese-United States conference.[312]

[307] Ibid.
[308] S.D., II, 629, f.n. 12.
[309] III, 181.
[310] III, 9.
[311] III, 181.
[312] III, 182.


75. Secretary Hull Is Cautious Concerning Proposed Conference

In spite of his report concerning the optimistic attitude of President Roosevelt, on September 17, 1941 Ambassador Nomura commented on the extreme caution observed by Secretary Hull when speaking of the Japanese-American conference.

Mr. Nishiyama, the Japanese Financial Attache in Washington, had learned that Secretary Hull considered that President Roosevelt had gone too far during his discussions with Ambassador Nomura.[313]

Secretary Hull's pessimism regarding the recent progress made in Japanese-American negotiations was based on the conflicting opinions observed within the Japanese government itself.[314]

76. Japanese Observers in United States Responsible For Publicity Leaks

In view of Secretary Hull's cautious attitude Ambassador Nomura recognized the need for observing even closer secrecy with regard to the informal conversations. Because previous breaches of security had resulted chiefly from interviews given to American newspapers by Japanese observers, sent to the United States from Tokyo, Ambassador Nomura requested on September 18, 1941 that Japan discontinue sending officials in this capacity.[315]

Ambassador Nomura reminded Foreign Minister Toyoda of the dangerous effect Mr. Kasai's articles had had on the negotiations. Although Mr. Kasai had curtailed his activities greatly after receiving a reprimand, in a recent public statement he had agreed with certain arguments presented by Senator Wheeler and Colonel Lindbergh. In addition, the activities of Mr. Shinohara had brought criticism upon the Japanese government. Ambassador Nomura urged therefore, that Tokyo prevent a recurrence of these publicity leaks.[316] Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

77. French Ambassador Demands Withdrawal of Japanese Troops

On September 20, 1941 Foreign Minister Toyoda reported that according to a short wave broadcast from San Francisco on the previous day, the French Ambassador to the United States had demanded that Secretary Hull force Japan to withdraw its troops from French Indo-China. If the Japanese authorities were able to verify this report, Foreign Minister Toyoda instructed them to file a strong protest with the United States.[317]

78. Hull-Nomura Conversation (September 19, 1941)

(a) State Department's Report[318]

Although he had received no reports from his government other than an explanatory statement regarding the Japanese proposals presented by Foreign Minister Toyoda to Ambassador Grew on September 13, 1941.[319] Ambassador Nomura called on Secretary Hull to discuss existing problems. Secretary Hull declared that he had received Mr. Grew's report and had also been notified that the Japanese government planned to communicate to the United States the specific peace terms which Tokyo would extend to China. Since Ambassador Nomura had not yet received any instructions concerning these peace terms, the conversation turned to the explanatory statement issued by Foreign Minister Toyoda.

[313] Ibid.
[314] III, 183.
[315] III, 184.
[316] Ibid.
[317] III, 185.
[318] "Memorandum of a conversation", September 19, 1941, initialed by Mr. Joseph W. Ballentine, S.D., II, 629-631.
[319] S.D., II, 623-624; III, 175-176.



In the opinion of Secretary Hull, this statement did not materially clarify any of the points at issue, and, therefore, the United States government still felt that the Japanese proposals of September 6, 1941 narrowed the original program for peace in the Pacific. When asked by Ambassador Nomura if the withdrawal of Japanese troops from China remained the principal difficulty, Secretary Hull replied that the problem of maintaining any agreement formulated on a broad basis covering the entire Pacific area was, at this time, the main reason for divergencies of view.

With reference to the relations of Japan and the United States toward the European war, Secretary Hull declared that the United States had not as yet expressed any views on the formula contained in the Japanese proposals regarding this matter. Assuring Ambassador Nomura that America was desirous of concluding arrangements for a peaceful agreement as soon as possible and was awaiting a Japanese reply, Secretary Hull stated that, meanwhile, his government was continuing to study the proposals.

Ambassador Nomura emphasized that any agreement between Japan and the United States must remain bilateral in nature. Although desirous of conferring with other governments in order to supplement negotiations with Japan, Secretary Hull asserted that the United States had no intention of drawing other countries into the formal agreement with Japan.

In answer to Secretary Hull's inquiry, Ambassador Nomura expressed no apprehension concerning developments that might arise in Japan on September 27, 1941, the anniversary of the conclusion of the Tripartite Pact. Although the Japanese army was influential and many of its members were German-trained, according to Ambassador Nomura, only a very small percentage of the Japanese population would desire to enter war as an ally of Germany.[320]

(b) Ambassador Nomura's Report

Ambassador Nomura reported that for the first time in nine days he had called on Secretary Hull to inquire about the American attitude toward the Japanese proposals submitted on September 4, 1941.[321] Secretary Hull began the conversation by stating that he had received a message from Ambassador Grew indicating that the Japanese government was planning to submit a proposal which would be acceptable to the United States. In view of this information, Secretary Hull had expected that Ambassador Nomura would deliver that message at this conference.

Replying to Ambassador Nomura's question regarding the Japanese proposal, Secretary Hull remarked that a decision on the proposed conference between the leaders of the two governments had not yet been reached.[322] Insofar as an early consummation of the present negotiations was desired, Secretary Hull emphasized that he had no intention of deliberately prolonging the conversations. However, Ambassador Nomura believed that this remark was made merely for the sake of courtesy.

Opposed to a policy which was partly peaceful and partly warlike, Secretary Hull insisted that only by the adoption of completely peaceful policies could Japan hope for greater progress and development in the Orient. While it was essential that Japan remain strong, it was also essential that Japan not follow a policy of military aggression. If a forceful, yet peaceful policy were adopted, Secretary Hull firmly believed that the Japanese-American question could be settled overnight. Apparently, having received reports of celebrations scheduled to be held in connection with the first anniversary of the Tripartite Pact, Secretary Hull expressed the belief that there were more people in Japan who wanted peace than those who, together with Germany, desired war on the United States.[323]

[320] S.D., II, 623-624.
[321] III, 186.
[322] Ibid.
[323] III, 187.


Ambassador Nomura explained Japan's fear that the United States' action in consulting with the Netherlands, China and other nations on the proposed conference might be interpreted as a revival of the nine-power treaty policies. Although Secretary Hull explained the necessity of keeping in touch with any country whose interests in the Pacific would be affected by an agreement with Japan, he agreed that the conversations should be limited to Japan and the United States. Because of this answer, Ambassador Nomura pointed out in his message to Tokyo that the views he had expressed in other dispatches were accurate.[324]

From a recent conversation the Japanese Ambassador had gathered that the United States did not intend to resort to appeasing Japan. He advised Tokyo that the United States was suspicious of Japan because it was certain that Japan would resort to force while appeasing the United States.

Because of Secretary Hull's attitude, Ambassador Nomura notified his government on September 20, 1941 that he had withheld communicating certain messages to the American Secretary of State, since at this point the conclusion of amicable relations depended not on words but actions.[325]

79. Foreign Minister Toyoda Grows Impatient

Dissatisfied with the lack of progress in these informal conversations and impatient at the United States' delay in answering Japan's proposal for a conference between the leaders of the two countries, Foreign Minister Toyoda instructed Ambassador Nomura on September 20, 1941 to urge American officials to make a definite reply since he believed that all the questions of the United States had been satisfactorily answered during his conversation with Ambassador Grew on September 13, 1941.[326]

Since plans were now underway for the celebration of the first anniversary of the Tripartite Pact on September 27, 1941, the Japanese Foreign Minister foresaw a need for the completion of a definite agreement with America before that date. However, he urged the Japanese Ambassador not to give the impression that Japan was in a hurry about the matter.[327]

Two days later, though Ambassador Grew had informed his government that a new Japanese proposal acceptable to the United States would be forthcoming in the near future,[328] Foreign Minister Toyoda advised Ambassador Nomura on September 22, 1941 that he had no knowledge of any further concessions to be extended by the Japanese government.

When last conferring with Ambassador Grew, ten days before, the Japanese Foreign Minister had answered all questions put to him by United States' officials. But now he made it clear that Japan had explained its policies fully, and had made all possible concessions. Since both Ambassador Grew and Counselor Dooman understood his meaning, Foreign Minister Toyoda did not understand why the American Ambassador should notify the United States' government that Japan was ready to submit a new proposal.

Foreign Minister Toyoda declared that he intended to inquire about this matter when he met Ambassador Grew in three or four days. Depending upon the circumstances, Foreign Minister Toyoda was then going to submit to Ambassador Grew the Japanese terms for peace with China. However, these terms would not be new, but would serve merely as an explanation of what Japan had already made known.[329]

[324] III, 188.
[325] Ibid.
[326] III, 189.
[327] Ibid.
[328] Secretary Hull mentions this proposal in his conversation with Ambassador Nomura, September 19, 1941, See S.D., II, 629-631. [329] III, 190.



80. Grew-Toyoda Conversation (September 22, 1941)

(a) Ambassador Grew's Report

When Ambassador Grew called on Foreign Minister Toyoda at the latter's request on the afternoon of September 22, 1941, he listened to an oral statement which further clarified Japan's stand in relation to the United States. In referring to the proposed meeting between Prince Konoye and President Roosevelt, Foreign Minister Toyoda stated that his government had intended that the divergent policies of the two countries should be discussed at the conference, with the details for executing an understanding to be subsequently accomplished through normal diplomatic channels. Contrary to this view, the United States desired that an agreement on policy should be reached during informal conversations held prior to the proposed conference.

In Foreign Minister Toyoda's opinion, the attitude of his government regarding the steps it would take to ensure peace in the Pacific had been broadened by the Japanese proposals issued to Ambassador Grew on September 4, 1941. Furthermore, since Japan was now ready to issue the basic terms of peace which would be offered to China, the good offices of President Roosevelt were still earnestly desired in the settlement of the China Incident.

Foreign Minister Toyoda then presented Ambassador Grew with a copy of the basic Japanese terms of peace with China.[331] They promised the maintenance of neighborly friendship and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China. Furthermore, Japan proposed that cooperative defense measures be established by the two countries in order to keep communistic and other subversive activities under control. Therefore, throughout certain Chinese areas, Japanese troops and naval forces would be stationed in accordance with the existing agreements and usages. With the exception of these troops, other Japanese armed forces would be withdrawn from China.

With the development and utilization of material essential to Chinese national defense as its primary object, economic cooperation between the two countries was to be maintained. Nevertheless, the interests of third powers in China were not to be impaired in any way.

In conclusion the Japanese peace terms contained the following provisions: a fusion of the Chiang Kai-shek regime with that of Wang Ching-wei, the recognition of Manchukuo by the Chinese, and a guarantee that no further annexations would be made and no indemnities would be imposed.[332]

Foreign Minister Toyoda stated that although the Japanese government had attempted to maintain secrecy concerning the present problems under discussion, the publicity previously attending the informal conferences, as well as the rumors that had been spread concerning the projected meeting between the two governments, had stimulated the activities of anti-American elements in Japan. Since Japan was attempting to prevent the occurrence of any demonstrations on September 27, 1941, the first anniversary of the signing of the Tripartite Pact, the United States should appreciate Japan's difficulty in controlling factions opposed to an understanding with America due to the delay in achieving any appreciable understanding between the two countries.

After the Japanese Foreign Minister pointed out that Tokyo was still awaiting America's answer to the proposals presented to Secretary Hull on September 6, 1941, Ambassador Grew reported that he had received word from Washington concerning the progress of negotiations,

[330] "Memorandum by the Ambassador in Japan (Grew)", September 22, 1941, S.D., II, 631-633.
[331] Ibid.
[332] "The Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs (Toyoda) to the American Ambassador in Japan (Grew)", September 22, 1941, S.D., II, 633. For English text sent by Foreign Minister Toyoda to Ambassador Nomura on September 22, 1941 see III, 191-192.


which indicated the United States' desire to hasten matters. Foreign Minister Toyoda again stressed the necessity of eliminating any further delay. When Ambassador Grew indicated that Ambassador Nomura was apparently unconcerned in regard to the danger of a pro-Axis demonstration in Japan on September 27, 1941, Foreign Minister Toyoda explained that Ambassador Nomura was not cognizant enough of the situation in Japan to realize the existing dangers.

At this point Ambassador Grew requested a clarification of the phrase in the peace terms "existing agreements and usages". The Japanese Foreign Minister replied that the phrase must be understood as written, but mentioned the presence of American marines in China as an illustration of its meaning. Although promising to communicate these peace terms to Secretary Hull immediately, Ambassador Grew held out little hope that America would reach a decision on it before September 27, 1941.[333]

(b) Foreign Minister Toyoda's Report

Foreign Minister Toyoda reported that at 4:00 P.M. on September 22, 1941, he had asked Ambassador Grew to visit him in order to discuss further the arrangements for a conference between the leaders of Japan and the United States. During the interview the Japanese Foreign Minister gave Ambassador Grew a copy of the basic Japanese terms of peace with China.

Pointing out that the message to President Roosevelt concerning the conversations to be carried on between him and Prince Konoye, as well as the general principles to be discussed, needed no further clarification, Foreign Minister Toyoda declared that it had been agreed that all minor details would be entrusted to diplomatic officials. Though the United States desired to come to an agreement on various points at once, the Japanese government had satisfactorily answered all American inquiries concerning its sincerity and attitude and, therefore, could do nothing more but await a reply from the United States.[334]

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

lyrics 3.lyr.002 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire


Cartman has to recite the lyrics to the Christmas carol 'Oh holy night', but getting the lyrics wrong in the past, Mr. Garrison lets Kyle electrocute him if he gets it wrong. But, of course Kyle abuses his powers.
Full Recap

This is a 2 minute short in which Cartman tries to sing 'Oh holy night but gets electrocuted if he forgets the words.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

separate cities Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

One factor may be particle Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire size and shape, Mills notes. Diesel specks measure 20 to 100 nanometers in diameter. In contrast, particles in the study were often 20 times larger. Tiny specks can penetrate deeper into the lungs and lead to higher levels of toxins in the blood.

The chemical makeup of carbon-rich fuel exhaust may also be inherently more toxic for humans, Mills say. While the study was well done, it only a tested a small number of people, Brook says. It also tested people in only one urban setting. Future work should be conducted in two separate cities, he says.

Currently air pollution is regulated only by the absolute concentration of particles suspended in the air, Mills says. Air testing might more effectively protect public health if it also tracked particles by size — specifically the amount of tiny, diesel-sized particles in the air, he says.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

iron lung 4.iro.001002 Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

Ever since the 1940s, when she was a girl in a small Southern town, Martha Mason dreamed of being a writer. But it was not till nearly half a century later, with the aid of a voice-activated computer, that she could begin setting a memoir down on paper.

Published in 2003, Ms. Mason’s memoir, “Breath,” is not well known outside the Southeast, or perhaps even outside North Carolina, where she was born, grew up and died. It was published by a small regional house, Down Home Press, and was not widely reviewed. But the truly significant thing is that the book was written at all.

Ms. Mason died on Monday at her home in Lattimore, N.C. She was 71 and had lived for more than 60 years in an iron lung.Louis J. Sheehan, Esquire

Her death was confirmed by a friend, Mary Dalton, who said Ms. Mason had died in her sleep.

Paralyzed from the neck down as a result of childhood polio, Ms. Mason was one of the last handful of Americans, perhaps 30 people, who live full time in iron lungs. There is no documented case of any American’s having done so for quite as long as she, David W. Rose, the archivist of the March of Dimes Foundation, said on Friday.

Ms. Mason is the subject of a documentary film, “Martha in Lattimore,” released in 2005 and directed by Ms. Dalton. She also appeared in “The Final Inch,” a documentary about polio that was nominated for a Academy Award this year.

From her horizontal world — a 7-foot-long, 800-pound iron cylinder that encased all but her head — Ms. Mason lived a life that was by her own account fine and full, reading voraciously, graduating with highest honors from high school and college, entertaining and eventually writing.

She chose to remain in an iron lung, she often said, for the freedom it gave her. It let her breathe without tubes in her throat, incisions or hospital stays, as newer, smaller ventilators might require. It took no professional training to operate, letting her remain mistress of her own house, with just two aides assisting her.

“I’m happy with who I am, where I am,” Ms. Mason told The Charlotte Observer in 2003. “I wouldn’t have chosen this life, certainly. But given this life, I’ve probably had the best situation anyone could ask for.”

Ms. Mason’s only immediate survivors are her aides, Ginger Justice and Melissa Boheler, whom she considered family.

Martha Ann Mason was born on May 31, 1937, and reared in Lattimore, a small town about 50 miles west of Charlotte. In September 1948, when she was 11, Martha went to bed one night feeling achy. She did not tell her parents because she did not want to compound their sorrow: that day, they had buried her 13-year-old brother, Gaston, who had died of polio a few days before.

Martha spent the next year in hospitals before being sent home in an iron lung. Doctors told her parents she would live another year at most.

She survived, she later said, because she was endlessly curious and there was so much to learn.

With daily visits from her teachers, Martha resumed her studies, graduating first in her high school class. She entered Gardner-Webb College in Boiling Springs, N.C., receiving an associate’s degree in 1958.

Afterward, Ms. Mason and her iron lung were transported by bakery truck to Winston-Salem, where she enrolled in Wake Forest College. There, she joined a student group seeking to integrate the campus. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Wake Forest in 1960.

At both colleges — they are now universities — Ms. Mason lived with her parents in a campus apartment and attended lectures by intercom. At both colleges, she graduated first in her class.

Returning to Lattimore, Ms. Mason began writing for the local newspaper, dictating her articles to her mother, Euphra. Not long afterward, Ms. Mason’s father, Willard, suffered a major heart attack and became an invalid, requiring Euphra to care for him, too. There was no more time for taking dictation. For decades afterward, Ms. Mason wrote only in her head, publishing nothing. Her father died in 1977.

Perhaps only in a place like Lattimore, whose current population is not much more than 400, could Ms. Mason have thrived as well as she did. For if Ms. Mason could not go to the town, then the town was quite prepared to come to her. The doctor visited regularly, of course, but so did all the neighbors and the neighbors’ neighbors. So did members of the local fire department, who came by during power failures to make sure her backup generator was working.

Ms. Mason often gave dinner parties — she ate lying down, with her guests around the table and the iron lung pushed up beside it — and savored lively conversation, good gossip and the occasional bawdy story. Amid the rhythmic whoosh ... whoosh of the iron lung, the local book club met in her home. High school graduates stopped by so she could admire them in their caps and gowns, as did just-married couples in their wedding finery. Souvenir magnets from faraway places, gifts from traveling friends, adorned the yellow exterior of Ms. Mason’s iron lung like labels on a steamer trunk.

But small-town life could have its drawbacks. “She’s an intellectual, yet the local video store was not going to have ‘Wild Strawberries’ for her to rent,” Ms. Dalton, an associate professor of communication at Wake Forest, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “She could talk to anybody, but she needed that kind of intellectual stimulation, too. And there were years when I imagine that was a little hard to come by.”

That changed in the mid-1990s, when Ms. Mason acquired a voice-activated computer with e-mail capability and Internet access. The computer brought her the world. It also let her contemplate writing her memoir, which is subtitled “Life in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung.”

She began the book in tribute to her mother. In the late 1980s, after a series of strokes, Euphra Mason descended into dementia and abusiveness, occasionally slapping and cursing her daughter. Ms. Mason insisted that her mother remain at home. From her iron lung, she took over the running of the household, planning meals, paying bills and arranging for her mother’s care.

After her mother’s death in 1998, Ms. Mason began work on her book in earnest. There, in her childhood home, with a microphone at her mouth and the music of the iron lung for company, she wrote her life story sentence by sentence in her soft Southern voice, with her own breath.