The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Geddes)
My Dear Mr. Ambassador: May I inquire whether you have as yet received from your Government any definite indication of its disposition with respect to the proposal for the reorganization of the international control of the Chinese Eastern Railway, as outlined in the memorandum which I had the pleasure of sending you in my letter of March 24th?
The necessity of some such reorganization has long been apparent; and in the discussions which have taken place in London, between the British Foreign Office and our Embassy, and here, between you and Mr. Norman Davis and myself, there has appeared to be a very gratifying identity of views as to the purposes to be sought and the general methods to be followed.
The increasing difficulties encountered in the operation of the railway have now become more than ever critical, and I have felt it necessary to ask Mr. John F. Stevens, who had been brought to this country for consultation as to the plan of reorganization, to return in the near future to Manchuria, to resume in person the task of controlling the operation of the line. It would be of obvious advantage if, before his departure, it should be possible to arrive at such an understanding between our two Governments as would afford a basis for presenting formally to the other interested Powers a revised plan of operation which would make him secure in the performance of his duties.[Page 578]
It is for this reason that I venture to recall this matter to your attention, in the very earnest hope that the opportunity may not be lost for cooperation between our Governments in making effective the international control of the operation of this railway, which appears to me to be a matter of fundamental and urgent importance for the stabilization of the situation in the Far East.
I am [etc.]