Memorandum of the Third Assistant Secretary of State (Long)
At my request Mr. Debuchi called today and we discussed the Tientsin matter. He reflected the same attitude as indicated in the memorandum of Mr. MacMurray, under date of December 4th. He said that his Government’s position was such that it practically amounted to a refusal to proceed without an admission by this Government of the presence of American troops on the night of March 12th. We discussed the matter from all of its angles. I finally told him that we considered it unfortunate indeed if he refused to admit that a matter between the two governments could not be settled, particularly one of such local significance. I asked him whether his Government would not, without reference to the incident of the night of the 12th and without further consideration, be inclined to make some suggestion, even if it was only to mutual settlement of claims for reparation for injuries to persons, and a mutual apology to be [Page 443]properly expressed by each government again through their respective representatives at Tientsin. He said that the Ambassador had come to the conclusion that it was impossible to do anything with it, and that the case should be filed. I expressed considerable regret and asked him to continue his consideration of the possibility, with the hope of adjustment in the comparatively near future.