Memorandum by the Secretary of State of a Conference With the Japanese Ambassador on Special Mission (Ishii), October 27, 1917

The Viscount called this morning by appointment and said that he had heard from his Government as to the proposed memorandum submitted on the 24th [22d] by me, that he wished to repeat that the only thing his Government sought to avoid was the impression that we suspected Japan of improper motives, and that his Government were afraid that the memorandum might some day become public and people would believe that we did not trust Japan. He was, therefore, instructed to propose a protocol, which would be in the nature of a joint memorandum signed by both of us.

The Viscount then handed me the draft of a protocol (which is annexed)21 saying that he thought that it went even further than the memorandum.

I told him that I would like to study the protocol further and would communicate with him as soon as I had done so.

He also spoke about the communication which was to be made by the Department to him relative to the Japanese ship which the Navy had arranged should assume certain patrol duty about the Hawaiian Islands.

  1. Not printed; for text of the protocol as finally agreed upon, see p. 450.