The Ambassador in Great Britain (Davis) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:56 p.m.]
124. Foreign Office advises me of recent telegraphic instructions to British Embassy, Washington, to inform Department of a telegram sent to British Legation, Peking, January 3, regarding assent of the French Government to the immediate loan to China of 5,000,000 pounds and the French Government’s views regarding disbandment of troops; the general tenor of which instructions I therefore deem it unnecessary to repeat.71
British Minister, Peking, has now referred, by telegraph, to difficulties connected with fulfillment [of] these conditions, especially concerning disbandment, adding that better class Chinese opinion disapprove loan of uncontrolled money to China, fearing repetition of various loan proceedings during past four years. In reply he has been informed that British Government are fully alive to such difficulties, but that one of the main objects has been to get the principle of disbandment. Additional instructions [garbled passage] in the loan contract in order that, before the time arrives for the negotiation of a large loan, the Chinese may realize that no money will be forthcoming unless disbandment is undertaken seriously. The Minister has therefore been instructed to act in concert with his colleagues in informing Chinese Government of the terms [Page 622]of the loan and of intention of British Government to see that they are observed, [with] which views British Government confident that the United States is in sympathy.
I am also informed that the American group has consented to assume, for the present, the share of the British group and I have received the further confidential intimation that doubt has been expressed in some quarters as to the ability of raising a loan at the present time. It is readily admitted that this appears almost inconceivable and that the dissemination of such report would seriously jeopardize the prestige of the groups and Governments concerned.