493.11/830: Telegram

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

283. My telegrams 280, June 23, 9 a.m. and 281, June 23, 11 a.m.80 Yen81 proposing conference on postponement of indemnity payments with American, British, French, Japanese Ministers in a few days. Believed he will submit some fundamental financial program. Ministers named met this forenoon discussed subject and agreed to take no action before Yen’s conference. Following facts brought out.

1st.
Baron Goto82 told Chinese Minister in 1918 Japanese Government had adopted in principle policy of remission further indemnity payments on certain conditions and recently Japanese Government had practically concluded to devote of annual indemnity payments one-third to Chinese students in Japan, one-third to Japanese schools for Chinese in China and one-third for Japanese hospitals in China for Chinese and Japanese. These plans have gone so far it might be very difficult for Japanese Government now to postpone indemnity payments for two years.
2d.
French Government has been considering other uses of the indemnity payments especially for rehabilitation Banque Industrielle and changes now probably difficult.
3d.
British Government has not committed itself to other uses of the indemnity payments and would probably take broad view of proposal to postpone payments especially if convinced that reunification would probably be brought about.
4th.
Italian Government will probably not want to postpone indemnity payments as money is greatly needed and Italian Finance Minister remarked not long ago in this connection that Italians were taxed far more heavily than Chinese.
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I respectfully suggest that Department defer instructions till it receives my report of Yen’s conference.

Please inform me regarding status in Congress of Lodge indemnity remission bill.

Schurman
  1. Latter not printed.
  2. W. W. Yen, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  3. Baron Shimpei Goto, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1918.