The Ambassador in Great Britain (Davis) to the Secretary of State
[Received 2:01 p.m.]
836. Your 425,49 my 695,50 and particularly your 516, May 17, 6 p.m.51 At the request of Foreign Office have had two informal conversations regarding Chinese Eastern Railway. Now that consortium agreement is reached and deeming therefore that views expressed in your 407, April 21, 6 p.m.52 do not now prohibit tentative discussions I believe Foreign Office opinion to be as follows, in which sense it might perhaps advise Tokyo, Peking, and Washington. It confidently believes that French will concur in its views.
- Concurring in recognition of primary interest of Russia, secondary interest of China and moral obligation of Allied trusteeship, control of the line should continue under inter-Allied agreement and its organizations with the exception of military board which should be dissolved.
- As elimination of British, French or American participation [in control] would place Japanese in such a position as to render almost completely null our success in bringing Japan into consortium without reservations, [as] China is manifestly unable to control, operate, or finance the road herself, and as [Japan?] has just ground for participation in protection of her troops in Siberia and her [Page 692] country from the Bolshevist menace, Chinese and Japanese military forces should jointly protect the line.
- Under foregoing provisions the consortium might properly finance undertaking in view of effect such action would have in controlling Japan, stabilizing China, limiting the Bolshevist menace and publicly proclaiming the first step of the consortium to be of broad international value.
- As British banking group is delayed in completing financial arrangements the American and Japanese groups might be asked to carry the preliminary advance.