The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Geddes)

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to His Excellency the British Ambassador and has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the memorandum (No. 828) of November 2, 1922, relative to the withholding of naval assistance to China pending the restoration of a unified Government.

The views of this Government coincide with those of the British Government as expressed in the aforesaid memorandum. As soon as the Governments of Italy and Japan have assented (the French Government having already signified its agreement) to the proposal set forth by this Government in its memorandum to His Excellency the British Ambassador dated October 18, 1922, the Government of the United States will instruct its Minister in Peking to present to the Diplomatic Body the following formula for consideration and adoption as a supplement to the Arms Embargo Agreement of 1919:

“The representatives of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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, however, of the special relationship to this matter created by the Bethlehem Steel Contract of 1911 the American Minister has been further instructed that in presenting the above formula he shall 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”.