The British Ambassador (Geddes) to the Secretary of State

No. 828

His Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador presents his compliments to the Secretary of State and, with reference to Mr. Hughes’ note verbale of October 18th last relative to the withholding of naval assistance to China pending the restoration of a unified Government, has the honour to inform him that, as the Arms Embargo Agreement of 1919 is in process of being superseded by the recommendations to be made by the Corps Diplomatique at Peking, which it is hoped that all the Powers represented thereon will accept, His Majesty’s Government are of opinion that it would be convenient and logical for the same Powers to be asked to adhere to an understanding regarding the withholding of assistance to China in connection with naval development. This procedure would afford the additional advantage of including the Norwegian and Swedish Governments.

With regard to the drawing up of the agreement, it is the view of His Majesty’s Government that the most convenient course to adopt would be for the Corps Diplomatique at Peking to discuss, and subsequently to recommend to their respective Governments, the exact formula to be adopted, as was done in the case of the Arms Embargo.

His Majesty’s Government would be glad to receive the views of the United States Government on this proposed method of procedure.