File No. 861.00/2356½

Memorandum of Conversation between the Third Assistant Secretary of State ( Long ) and the Chinese Minister ( Koo )

The Chinese Minister called this afternoon at my request. I told him that it was rumored from Peking that, by the recent military convention with Japan,1 China might have committed herself to delegate control of that part of the Chinese Eastern Railroad which lies within Chinese territory to some other government; that if it did not appear exactly on the face of the military convention it might be inferred from the terms of the convention that such was the case. I told him that this Government felt it would be advisable, in case there should be a military operation of an Allied character in Siberia, that the Chinese Government should control that part of the Chinese Eastern Railroad which lies within Chinese territory, and should control it alone. I informed him that we were cabling this information to our representative in Peking and that we desired him to be informed of it.

He stated that the military convention itself did not authorize or warrant such a delegation of control, but provided that the original terms of the railroad agreement should be carried out. I pointed out to him that those terms of the military convention which provided that China and Japan, through their military representatives, should agree as to the details of any particular operation made it possible for those military representatives to agree to this operation and, if agreed to, it would be controlling and that it was rumored and had been reported to us that this probably was in contemplation.

He said that he would cable his Government recommending that they should act alone and assume control.

Breckinridge Long