File No. 763.72115/3321

The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador on Special Mission ( Reading)

No. 147

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency’s two memoranda of May 31, 1918, numbered 599 and 600, respectively, relating to the proposed deportation to Australia of enemy subjects in China and the retaliatory measures threatened by the German Government if such deportation takes place.

In reply I have the honor to state that the reply to the representations of the Vatican and the King of Spain, which the Government of Great Britain proposes to make on behalf of all the governments which are parties to the arrangement with the Chinese Government, submitted in Your Excellency’s memorandum No. 600, has received my careful consideration. The Government of the United States would not hesitate to share the responsibility of refusing to give way to the threat of the German Government that reprisals will be made if the proposed deportation is effected, but since in the Embassy’s memorandum of June 10, 1918, it is stated that the Allied Governments have come to the conclusion that a re-examination of the question of transporting German and Austrian subjects from China to Australia is neccessary, the Government of the United States will defer further consideration of the matter until a decision is reached as to what course will be pursued with reference to the proposed deportations. The Government of the United States understands from Your Excellency’s memorandum of June 10 that a reexamination of this subject will probably require some time, and that it is not expected a decision can be reached at an early date.

I have [etc.]

Robert Lansing