500.A4/2: Telegram

The Ambassador in Great Britain (Harvey) to the Secretary of State

569. Following official statement appears in morning newspapers.

“With reference to the Prime Minister’s observations in the House of Commons, on Thursday, on the Anglo-Japanese Treaty it was stated yesterday at the Foreign Office in answer to an inquiry that strictly no ‘reply’ is expected from the United States as there is nothing to which to reply.

Our whole attitude with regard to a conference amounts to this—that the idea of a conference has been canvassed in America during these last three or four months; ever since President Harding came into office. We have repeatedly informed the United States, both publicly and confidentially, that we should welcome a conference and we understand that the other countries concerned are of the same mind.

Everything therefore depends on whether the United States Government will formally propose that a conference shall be held. The word ‘reply’ must be understood in the sense that a formal invitation on the part of the American Government to such a conference would be replying to the welcome given on all sides in this country to the idea ever since it was first unofficially put forward in America.”

The official report of Parliament proceedings omits qualifying clause in Lloyd George’s Thursday statement to the effect that his statement promised for Monday would depend “upon the replies received [Page 23] from the United States, Japan and China.” This clause consequently, says Times editorially, “may be regarded as officially nonexistent.”

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