The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in China (Reinsch)
Your March 20, midnight, has been forwarded.
It would seem that under present conditions the agents of corporations in China might well transmit such information direct to their respective home offices, the Legation simply telegraphing the facts to the Department for its information and for such action as it may [Page 628]deem advisable. The Legation might also mention persons or corporations who it thinks would be interested, but leaving the disposition in each case to the discretion of the Department in order that it may avoid any possible charge of discrimination in favor of or against any particular banking firm, corporation or individual when such opportunities arise in China. It is possible also that some proposals of this character may have a bearing either directly or indirectly on the Consortium negotiations, in which Japan, Great Britain and France are also concerned. The Department is particularly anxious at this time to avoid any suspicion of undue activity on the part of this Government in promoting American enterprises in China to the exclusion of other nationals. The transmission by the Legation of such messages may lead to unwarranted suspicions.