793.94/840: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Morris) to the Acting Secretary of State

In an extended talk with the Minister for Foreign Affairs he told me that he had instructed the Japanese Chargé d’Affaires [Page 702]to call to your attention the recent action of the British-American association in China which had unanimously passed a resolution in reference to the Shantung settlement.24 He said that the unanimous character of the action was significant in view of the fact that both the British and American Ministers were reported as present. He felt that an action having this official color was rather unfriendly to Japan. More serious however was the effect which he feared on China. The Shantung issue he said was only an excuse for the exhibition of anti-Japanese feeling in China. This feeling had other and deeper causes. The Shantung matter could be settled and would be when Japan redeemed in form and spirit all the promises she had made at the Peace Conference in regard to Shantung. But if British and Americans resident in China continued to sympathize with the anti-Japanese sentiment now prevailing, they would soon find it developing into a general anti-foreign sentiment which might prove exceedingly serious. He then referred to the resolution of the American Chamber of Commerce at Shanghai25 which he evidently resented quite bitterly, particularly the reference to Japan’s bad faith. Later this afternoon the Minister of War called on me. His wish to give me some immaterial information in regard to Korea was the excuse for his visit. The real object was to discuss China. He said that he had never previously credited the reports that anti-Japanese feeling in China was inspired by American and British officials but the resolution of the British-American association and the recent activities of Burr26 attached to our Legation had forced him to revise his attitude. The rest of his conversation was a repetition of the views which the Minister of Foreign Affairs had expressed.

Morris
  1. See resolution of June 6, p. 690.
  2. See telegram of May 22 from the Minister in China, p. 694.
  3. Roger A. Burr, Vice Consul at Peking until May 1, 1919.