124.9318/97

The Secretary of War ( Weeks ) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I desire to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of November 8, 1922, in which you express your views regarding the instructions given to govern the Commanding General, American Forces in China, in the exercise of his command and in his relations with the representative of the Department of State resident in Peking.

May I, first, thank you for the deep interest you evidence in the success of the American Army force entrusted with its share of the important duty of keeping open the communications from Peking to the sea. Your views as to the duties of this force and the relations the commander thereof must maintain with the Legation are so in accord with my own, and so clearly expressed, that I am taking the liberty to transmit a copy of your letter in toto to General Connor for his further guidance, as indicated in the enclosure hereto.43 I shall also personally interview General Connor before his departure from the United States and shall at that time take occasion to convey to him the expression of your cordial hopes for his success in China.

I presume, of course, you realize that the main consideration which influenced me in my decision to establish the force in China as a [Page 874] separate command, functioning directly under the War Department, was to make sure, not only that the relations of the Army Commander with your representative on the ground in China should be proper, but that the direct control established would permit me, at all times and with promptness and certitude, to convey to the commander the reaction of your department on the conduct of the military force. And I trust and beg that you will continue, on suitable occasion, to frankly inform me of your valuable views on such conduct.

Please permit me, Mr. Secretary, in closing, to again express to you my sincere thanks for your helpfulness and cooperation in this important matter, and my trust and hope that the instructions given will insure, on the part of the Army in China, that satisfactory and close cooperation I so earnestly desire.

Sincerely yours,

John W. Weeks
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