File No. 861.00/2882

The Chinese Minister (Koo) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I beg to enclose herewith the memorandum which I spoke to you yesterday about for your personal information.

Very sincerely yours,

V. K. Wellington Koo

Memorandum on the dispatch of Japanese Troops to Manchouli

With reference to the subject of dispatching Japanese troops to Manchouli and other points along the Chinese Eastern Railway, the Japanese Minister at Peking, in an interview with Premier Tuan on the 8th of August last, inquired whether China would consent to the carrying out of measures for joint defense against the enemy according to the Sino-Japanese military agreement. The Premier replied that since an agreement for the purpose had been concluded between the two countries China would, of course, give her consent in accordance with the agreement, should the exigency arise.

On the 14th, Minister Hayashi informed orally one of the Counselors of the Foreign Office that the Japanese troops at Port Arthur had orders to move on the 13th. On the evening of the same day the Foreign Office sent an official to the Japanese Legation and informed the Minister that the haste with which Japan had dispatched troops did not give China sufficient time to notify the people along the route of this step. The Minister promised to cable to his own Government. But there was no interruption in the movement of Japanese troops. This is all that has passed between the Government of China and the Government of Japan regarding the dispatch of troops by Japan to northern Manchuria.

Now, apparently, the Japanese Government construed the casual reply of the Premier on the 8th as China’s consent to cooperate in measures of common defense according to the agreement; but China holds that according to Article 11 of the agreement such measures should be decided upon and initiated by the highest military commands of the two countries, and, therefore, an answer to a mere inquiry from Minister Hayashi should not be considered as such a consent by China as is contemplated in the agreement.