Memorandum of the Third Assistant Secretary of State (Long)
The Italian Chargé d’Affaires called this afternoon and asked what the status of the new Consortium was. I explained to him very shortly. He had a communication from his Government which indicated that they felt Italian bankers should be admitted to the [Page 432]new group. I told him that our position was that the group should be organized by those who had been members of the old group, and that after organization they would consider what other nations should be admitted. I assured him that there was no arrangement in the agreement which would exclude any other nation, but that it was considered inadvisable to take up those matters at this stage. He also asked about the consolidation of the railroads in China, and read a translation of a cable from Peking saying that there had been a good deal of talk there about it, and about foreign control of the railroads.86 I told him that we too had heard of it from our Minister, but had advised him that we were not interested in any such project, and instructed him to take no further action.