The Department of State to the Japanese Embassy98
On May 4, 1922, there was handed to the Japanese Embassy an Aide Memoire with reference to an agreement of October 21, 1911, between the Bethlehem Steel Corporation and the Chinese Government, for the construction or improvement of factories for the manufacture of guns and ammunition, for the improvement of existing dockyards and arsenals, and for the construction of naval vessels and guns. Similar Aides Memoires were communicated to the British, French and Italian Embassies at Washington and the text thereof was telegraphed at the same time to the American Ambassadors at Rome, London, Paris and Tokyo, who were instructed to ascertain the views of the Governments to which they were respectively accredited as to the propriety of undertaking at the present time any such program of naval development in China as is contemplated by the above mentioned agreement of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
The Government of the United States indicated that if it should be the view of the Governments approached on the subject that the [Page 755] construction of naval vessels, arsenals and dockyards for the account of the Chinese Government or of its administrative subdivisions or local authorities, or of the giving of technical naval assistance, should not be undertaken by Governments so approached, or by their nationals, pending the restoration of a unified Government in China, the Government of the United States would be prepared, while of course reserving the eventual rights of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation under its agreement of October 21, 1911, to give assurance that pending the realization of such political conditions in China, no steps will be taken by the American Corporation concerned, or by the American Government, to avail themselves of the rights established by that agreement.
The Japanese Government assured the Department of State in a memorandum dated May 21 , 1922, of its acceptance of the policy proposed by the Government of the United States, and similar assurances have also now been received from the British, French and Italian Governments. This Government now gives the assurance referred to in the Aide Memoire of May 4, 1922, namely that pending the restoration of a unified Government in China, no steps will be taken by the American Corporation concerned, or by the American Government, to avail themselves of the rights established by the Bethlehem Steel agreement.
- Similar aides-mémoire sent to the British, French, and Italian Embassies.↩