893.113/388a: Telegram

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

262. Department’s 242, October 17, 6 p.m., via Tokyo.8

British Government has suggested that the Diplomatic Body at Peking consider and subsequently recommend to their respective governments a formula to be adopted as in the case of the Arms Embargo. This procedure commends itself to this Government and when satisfactory replies have been received from the French, Italian and Japanese Governments the Department will advise you with a view to your presenting to the Diplomatic Body the following formula for consideration a£ a supplement to the Arms Embargo Agreement:

“The representatives of (Bracket) Here name the Powers diplomatically represented in Peking of course excluding Russia (Bracket) agree that the construction of naval vessels, arsenals and dockyards for the account of the Chinese Government or of its administrative subdivisions or local authorities or the giving of technical naval assistance shall not be undertaken by any of the said governments or their nationals pending the restoration of a unified government in China.”

In view of the special relationship to this matter created by the Bethlehem Contract you will in presenting the above formula propose to annex to it the following declaration in behalf of this Government:

“In accepting the above agreement, the Government of the United States, while reserving the eventual rights of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation under its contract of October 21, 1911, with the Chinese Government, gives its assurance that no steps will be taken by the American corporation concerned, or by the American Government, to avail themselves of the rights established by that Company’s contract, so long as the present understanding remains in force among the Treaty Powers.”

In this connection you will furnish copies of the Bethlehem contract to the Legations participating in the proposed agreement.

Repeat to Tokyo for its information, as Department’s 138.

  1. See footnote 4, p. 757.