893.51/2916: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in China (Crane)

208. Your 216, August 6, 6 p.m.

The Department feels that in a matter so vitally affecting the future economic development of China, the Chinese Government is entitled to the fullest explanation of the negotiations which led up to the unanimous approval of the Consortium plan by the Governments concerned. The Department refers you to its telegram No. 180, July 11, noon,79 and hopes that you may be able to persuade your colleagues of the wisdom of a more complete disclosure of the notes exchanged. In any event the Department does not view favorably the wording of the reference to the Japanese position in the first paragraph of item 3 quoted in your 216 of August 6, 6 p.m. It is not a full or frank statement of the Japanese position and would tend to lend color to the statements now being circulated in Japan to the effect that Japan never withdrew the Reservations in regard to Mongolia and Manchuria originally demanded. The following partial statement prepared by Mr. Lamont for public circulation in Japan over his signature is an accurate statement:

“It will be recalled that the Japanese Banking Group, under the instructions of its Government, qualified its original acceptance of the Consortium agreement by declining to include within the activities of the Consortium Japanese interests in Manchuria and Mongolia. This qualification constituted a bar to Japan’s entry into the [Page 566] Consortium on the same terms as those applying to the other banking groups and it was for the purpose of trying to clear away this difficulty that I had the pleasure of visiting Japan last spring.

“As a result, partly of my friendly discussions in Japan, and partly of the exchanges between the foreign offices of all the four Governments, the Japanese Banking Group, with the approval of its Government, withdrew the original letter which had set up the reservations that I speak of.”

It would be far better to avoid all reference to Japan’s position than to join in a half true and therefore misleading statement of it. The reason that this government has urged consistently the presentation of all the documents as mentioned in the Department’s No. 180 of June 11, noon,78 was to avoid the hazardous course of submitting any interpretive and necessarily inadequate summary.

  1. Probably refers to Department’s 179, July 15, 8 p.m., p. 552, which was in reply to the Legation’s no. 180, July 11, noon, p. 548.
  2. Also probably refers to Department’s 179, July 15, 8 p.m., p. 552.