The Minister in China (Reinsch) to the Secretary of State

No. 2361

Sir: In forwarding despatch No. 228 from the Consul at Tsingtau to the Secretary of State, relating to the status of the Shantung Railway, I have the honor to enclose herewith copies of despatch No. 14 from the Consul at Tsinanfu, and two newspaper articles, dealing with the abolition of the Japanese civil offices in Shantung, [Page 567] in return for “compensation” in the form of new railway concessions.76

The Consul at Tsinanfu reports, as is verified also from other sources, that the new railway concessions (Kaomi-Soochow [Hsuchow?] and Tsinan-Shunteh Lines) are treated as consideration or compensation given for certain arrangements, such as the withdrawal of the Japanese military guard along the Shantung Railway, the withdrawal of the Japanese civil administration, and the allowing of a half interest in the Shantung Railway to China.77 … I have the honor most strongly to urge that the disposal of this railway in such a way as effectually to put it under the control of the Central Government of China, should be made one of the essential points of the peace settlement, as is recommended in the carefully considered and fully weighed despatch of the Consul at Tsingtau.

The adequate settlement of this matter is closely bound up with the establishment in China of conditions under which public and private business can be done in a decent manner, in which self-respecting people and nations can engage, and which moreover will avoid immediately laying the foundation for future conflicts and for the continuation of a system which the present war was fought to put an end to for all time. For the bearing of this particular matter upon the general situation in China, I have the honor to refer you to my despatch No. 2362 of even date herewith,78 wherein certain memoranda of the Consul at Tsingtau are forwarded.

I have [etc.]

Paul S. Reinsch
  1. Enclosures not printed.
  2. See Foreign Relations, 1918, p. 205.
  3. Not printed.