File No. 763.72/8262
The Minister in China ( Reinsch) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 23, 9.40 a.m.]
My telegrams October 2, 1 p.m.,1 November 4, 8 p.m.,2 November 15, 5 p.m.,3 November 23, 9 p.m.,4 December 12, 6 p.m.5 The Government has decided to establish a commission on war participation and has offered the presidency to General Tuan. The commission is to deal with supply of man power including military and of materials to the Allies. General Tuan stated to me the success of this work entirely depends on receiving the most acceptable financial support from the United States as the financial means of China are sufficient scarcely for domestic needs, therefore he cannot accept chairmanship unless our American Government could make a favorable decision as otherwise his acceptance would only raise false expectations.
The general stated that he desires to prepare an expedition of the most select troops. Realizing that four divisions constitute relatively [Page 711] small force he is ready to follow up with contingents of great size if we find the troops satisfactory. His earnest desire to cooperate is headed [shared?] by the most farsighted leaders in China.
The Consul General, Canton, telegraphs that a movement had been started for the independent war participation of the South under American guidance but such [Southern?] military leaders take the position that in international matters they will conform to the policy of the Chinese Government, being ready to furnish their quota of troops. This indicates unifying effect of war action.
As I have been requested now to give a reply I have the honor to ask your decision and to request that should there be any specific obstacle I may be informed in order that a satisfactory solution may be attempted. I believe this matter to be of far reaching importance. If the present opportunity is accepted lasting sources of strength will be secured; if it is rejected the progressive leaders in the China war policy will seem to be disavowed and will be weakened in the face of all influences which will be brought to bear to turn China against the Allies. The policy suggested is not new but has been agreed to by the Allies.