File No. 893.00/1588.

Memorandum by the Division of Far Eastern Affairs of the Department of State, March 31, 1913.

The German Ambassador called this afternoon and said that he had received instructions from his Government to remind the Department of the understanding that had been reached, in response to the representations made by the Japanese Government in February, 1912, that [Page 106] the powers would act in concert in the matter of the recognition of the Republic of China.1 I replied that the matter was receiving the most careful consideration of the Secretary; that, of course, I was not in position to anticipate what his decision would be, but for the sake of accuracy I reminded the Ambassador that our agreement to the Japanese proposal at that time had been qualified by the reservation “so long as this course shall entail no undue delay” and that, therefore, the United States could not be held to be explicitly bound in view of the fact that over a year had elapsed since that time. I stated that the question now was only one of comity and that I was confident the Secretary had this point in mind in his consideration of the matter.

The Ambassador repeated that his instructions were not to suggest that China should or should not be recognized at this time, but only to remind the Department of the agreement as to concerted action.