Memorandum of the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs of the Department of State (MacMurray)

In conversation with me today Mr. Debuchi referred to a talk with Mr. Long in which he had “made a personal suggestion” as to the settlement of the Tientsin incident which he said his Ambassador was willing to take the responsibility of recommending to the Japanese Government.

Mr. Debuchi emphasized that, as regards the question of the presence of American soldiers in the Japanese concession on the night of March 12th his proposal contemplated only that our Government should undertake to make a further investigation and to take appropriate [Page 444] steps in the event that such investigation should demonstrate that American soldiers had actually entered the Japanese concession and done injury to Japanese subjects on the night in question: and he several times reiterated this point and made the further statement that if only we would give this undertaking the Japanese Government would be content and that it would not press us for a statement as to the result of such investigation. I avoided committing myself on the question whether this suggestion would be satisfactory to us.