File No. 893.51/1294.
The American Ambassador to Germany to the Secretary of State.
Berlin , February 12, 1913—4 p.m.
Your February 10, 6 p.m., reached me only last night. The German Foreign Office is disposed to view sympathetically the compromise suggestion contained in the Department’s aide mémoire, but is inclined to believe that under existing conditions the safest way is to urge the sextuple group to accept the Chinese proposal. This view is apparently shared by the English, but they as well as their French friends have unfortunately been forced by ententes and alliances to support propositions quite contrary to their own ideas. Russia, with a view to furthering her own political plans, is no doubt responsible, for existing complications and would doubtless be pleased to see sextuple group disrupted as she fears money may be used to strengthen China’s position in Mongolia, and there are persistent rumors of China again being on the eve of making independent loans. The German Foreign Office, acting on a suggestion of the British Ambassador, whose Government had just declined to accept the German modification of French proposal, inquired whether our Government for the sake of harmony would be willing to step aside in the matter of currency-reform adviser in favor of a Frenchman, which might facilitate acceptance of Chinese proposition by sextuple group. I replied that it seemed to me dangerous to allow any new subject matter to enter into the case that might lead to further complications, and declined even to transmit such a proposition to the Department. But I added that in case the Imperial German Ministry should later assure me that the sextuple group had unanimously and unequivocally agreed to accept the Chinese proposition, with the single provision that the American Government agree to the appointment of a Frenchman as currency-reform adviser, I would recommend that plan to the Department. I beg to be further instructed.