893.74/219: Telegram

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

37. Your 44, February 10, 4 p.m.

Inform Ministry of Communications that American Delegation to Armament Conference has been disbanded but that the Department will hold itself ready to discuss with the Chinese delegate, or Chinese Minister, question of wireless communications in China and in the Pacific. The Ministry is doubtless aware that the resolution introduced during the Conference by Mr. Viviani designed to give approval to cooperative development of radio between China and other countries was not acted upon by the Conference.

[Paraphrase.] A proposal that the four private wireless interests concerned combine to further wireless between China and other countries was discussed informally and outside the Conference by the American technical expert with the Japanese, French and British communication experts but did not gain the American expert’s approval, although it assumed various forms, and never went before the Conference for formal consideration. The three foreign communication experts of whom I speak conveyed intimations that they would make recommendations to their various governments that, conditioned by China’s consent, the French, British and Japanese interests enter a combination to formulate an arrangement whereby wireless communication between China and other countries would be brought about; and including in this plan the station near Peking which the Japanese are now erecting. The American expert believed in general, for his part, in the development of a direct communication, unstraddled by any foreign interest, between China and the United States. For a basis for this he believed in putting to use the concession of the Federal Company. The American expert will be authorized by the Department to undertake informal conferences with the Chinese delegate or Chinese Legation’s representative. [End paraphrase.]