Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, Department of State (Lockhart)
Mr. Yung Kwai, Counselor of the Chinese Legation, called today and stated that his Government is particularly interested in the Communications Conferences which are to be held in Washington on September 15 and November 15, respectively. He stated that the disposition of the formerly German owned cables in the Pacific was a matter in which his Government was intensely interested. He stated that the Chinese Government would be quite satisfied to see the Yap–Shanghai cable allocated to the American Government but that it would be a great disappointment to China if the Japanese were to obtain this cable inasmuch as it would be another link in the efforts of Japan to entirely control the communication service into and out of China. M. Yung Kwai stated that the Japanese have erected numerous wireless stations and with the Japanese post office in China and the ownership of the Shanghai-Tsingtao and Shanghai-Chefoo cables the Japanese were making steady progress towards the realization of their aims. He asked if the American Government would make an effort to get control of the Yap–Shanghai cable but I evaded the question by saying that [Page 127] a definite outline of policy had not yet been agreed upon by the delegates on the part of the United States.
In the course of the conversation Mr. Yung Kwai said that Minister Koo had informed him that the Dutch owned sixty-three percent of the Yap–Shanghai cable. He stated that Minister Koo had prepared a memorandum for Mr. Lansing on this subject at Paris and that Minister Koo had made the above mentioned statement as to the Dutch ownership of the Yap–Shanghai cable in his memorandum. Mr. Yung Kwai also stated that the Yap–Menado cable was also largely Dutch owned. I told him that we knew of the Dutch claims so far as the Yap–Menado cable is concerned but that we had not heard that sixty-three percent of the Yap-Shanghai cable was owned by the Dutch. I told him that whatever interest the Dutch may have in these cables would be definitely brought out at the Preliminary Conference.