861.77/2043: Telegram

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

147. Your 154, April 13, 5 p.m., and Johnson’s May 4, 10 a.m., which you forwarded through Tokyo.

You may, preferably in accord with your British, French and Japanese colleagues, call the attention of the Chinese Government to the assurances of Minister of Communications to Stevens and Peck1 in their conversation of October 26th, and in writing to Mr. Stevens on November 4th,2 that supplementary agreement of October 2, 1920,3 would not effect the slightest change in control of the Technical Board over Chinese Eastern; that China would support Technical Board and hoped it would continue to function; that the Chinese Government’s plans include nothing contradictory to the Inter-Allied Agreement, et cetera.

You may express the regret of the Government to learn from Colonel Johnson, American representative on the Technical Board, of certain interference which has occurred with the Technical Board’s authority and the operation of the railway by Chinese military forces. Give Chinese Government important facts of interference set forth in Johnson’s May 4, 10 a.m., and his mail report delivered to Legation April 29th.4

You may say United States Government views with apprehension this interference with Technical Board’s authority, which threatens disorganization of the railway.

Point out that United States Government in making above representations is actuated by sincere desire “that the Technical Board continue temporarily to operate the Chinese Eastern Railway with a view to its ultimate return to those in interest without the impairing of any existing rights”.

Urge the advisability of the Chinese Government restraining the Chinese military forces from further interference, and issuing the necessary instructions to all Chinese officials to support the Technical Board.

Do not officially protest in regard to interference by the Japanese but use your discretion in asking Japanese Minister about detention of cars by the Japanese.

You should advise Colonel Johnson.5

  1. Willys R. Peck, consul, detailed to American Legation in China.
  2. See telegram no. 573, Nov. 5, from the Chargé in Japan, Foreign Relations, 1920, vol. i, p. 725.
  3. Ibid., p. 713.
  4. Report not found in Department files.
  5. Last two paragraphs paraphrased.