The Department of State to the British Embassy


Concerning the information received through the Embassy’s Memorandum No. 221 of March 24, 1919, that a Belgian financial group is being formed with the object of participating in the new international consortium for Chinese loans and the statement that the group is most anxious to be invited to the group meetings that will be held shortly to organize the scheme, the American Government agrees with His Britannic Majesty’s Government that the admission of a fifth group at this time will tend to complicate the negotiations.

Subsequent events have tended to strengthen the view of this Government as expressed on October 8, 1918, to the effect that, “It is not the intention, however, of this Government to ignore, much less to exclude, any just claim of participation in the new International Group, but merely, for practical considerations arising out of the war, to associate the interests of the Governments now so closely and actively associated and most able to finance the proposed loans to China, and to reserve for future consideration the inclusion of any other groups of friendly powers which may, at a later time, be in a position effectively to cooperate.”

The position of the United States Government has not changed from that expressed above but conditions in China now render time a more important factor than ever and it would seem most necessary that the four powers which have conducted negotiations to practical completion should proceed to active operation rather than at this time to invite the inevitable delay which the consideration of the admission of another national group would cause.