File No. 893.51/1284,

The American Minister to the Secretary of State.


The present insistence of the French Minister on four appointees from nationals making loan, including two audit advisers, as reported in my telegram of February 4, is substitute for his former demand for six general advisers. He evidently expects foreign intervention in near future, in which event advisers named would constitute international commission for administration of China’s affairs. At meeting of February fourth he suggested double appointment all around which included American but I took position reported in my telegram of February 4 and refused to be party to his proposals. I said I asked for no representation in loan appointments. The Japanese said he would support proposition if colleagues gave him moral support for adviser in another department, on theory American wanted no representation. The proposition was made today for French and Russian [Page 155] auditors with British and German appointments. The Chinese, I am credibly informed, will never consent to proposed change. This may end both the negotiations and the consortium. In that event I prefer to occupy position I have taken; but if the other Ministers unite with the French Minister in demand for four appointees, shall I support them? Or, whether I do or not, is it necessary for me to safeguard American interests by notifying colleagues I reserve right for American adviser in other departments as do the Japanese?