Paris Peace Conf. 893.77/10: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Sharp )

6648. For Secretary Lansing. Confidential telegram December 12, 6 p.m.15 reports that the Japanese have concluded or are attempting to conclude with the Chinese Minister of Railways an agreement to [Page 516] the effect that the Shantung Railway should be jointly administered by China and Japan regardless of which of them might be given a title to the railway at [by] Peace Conference; the railway to be policed by Chinese military guards under instruction of Japanese; Japan to manage under the same conditions as contained in the German control [the two] branch railways in Shantung recently granted to Japan. In return for trader [this] agreement the Japanese are to withdraw their civil administration along the railway lines.

As this agreement will give Japan effective control of the railways in Shantung the American Consul at Tsingtau considers that it would be highly [unfortunate] if the present temporary possession by the Japanese of the Shantung Railway were to be confirmed by the final peace treaty, inasmuch as it would not only [impair] China’s sovereign rights in Shantung but also be detrimental to the commercial rights of other nations.

  1. From the Minister in China; not printed.