File No. 763.72119/1360

The Department of State to the British Embassy


The Department of State has the honor to acknowledge the receipt on February 21 of the memorandum of His Britannic Majesty’s Embassy,1 relating to the decision of the Chinese Government to deport to Australia all enemy subjects in China and modifying somewhat the statement made in the Embassy’s memorandum of February 5, 1918.2 It is noted that a recent telegram from His Britannic Majesty’s Minister at Peking to the British Foreign Office explains that the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs did not actually ask for an assurance in regard to favorable treatment of China at the peace conference and that the Embassy therefore is instructed to inform the State Department that His Britannic Majesty’s Government no longer consider it necessary that the Allied Governments should give the assurance suggested in regard to the consideration of China’s interests at the peace conference, but only to guarantee her against reprisals by the enemy.

The Department of State in replying to the Embassy’s note of February 5, 1918, had the honor to state that the American Minister at Peking was some time before instructed to give the Chinese Government, in so far as the American Government was competent so to do, the assurance that their interests would have the same consideration in the peace conference as those of other powers at war with Germany and Austria. The American Government understood from the representations made by the American Minister in Peking that China desired such assurances and the American Government trusts that His Britannic Majesty’s Government, which were disposed to give this assurance when under the impression that China had asked it, would yet give it should the request be made.

  1. Not printed; the British memorandum is dated Feb. 14 (File No. 763.72119/1360); a note in similar terms was transmitted by the French Ambassador, under date of Feb. 20, and was answered by a note, dated Mar. 6, in terms similar to those of the memorandum here printed (File No. 763.72115/3288).
  2. Not printed; see the memorandum addressed to the British Embassy, Feb. 14, ante, p. 631.