File No. 763.72/6811

The Secretary of State to the Minister in China ( Reinsch)


Your September 5, midnight, and September 12, 6 p.m. The American Government is not disposed to make any objections to the proposed communication to the Chinese Government upon the following understanding: With regard to section 1, A, that the Department is unable affirmatively to agree to the postponement of indemnity payments, but will make no objection, provided the Chinese Government will agree to support the Tsing Hua College and the educational mission and students in the United States on the present basis. With regard to section 1, B, that the present specific tariff having been adopted as a provision of the present commercial treaty between the United States and China, it can be changed in so far as we are concerned only with the consent of the Senate which the Department will earnestly strive to obtain, and with regard to section 2, F, that an exception be made as to the Austrian vessels purchased [Page 690] by Americans prior to China’s declaration of war. The American Government is not a party to the agreement excluding Chinese troops from Tientsin referred to in section 1, C.

The proposal in section 2, A, is considered desirable. As to the measure proposed in section 2, E, this Government would of course make no objection to the seizure by China of German national property.

Since Americans in Germany are not interned nor their property sequestrated and since Germans in the United States, unless guilty of hostile acts, are not interned nor deprived of their property the American Government is not in a position to advise China to adopt the measures proposed in section 2, B, C, and D.

For your confidential information and guidance.

The American Government is unable to declare its adherence to the proposed note as a whole because the United States is not at war with Austria-Hungary and because the law in this country makes it impossible to accede to some of the measures proposed.

While desirous of cooperating in a general way with the Governments at war with Germany, it is not always possible for us to support their policies entirely since our situation as belligerents is not identical with theirs.