893.113/437: Telegram

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

46. Your 257 November 6, 6 p.m., 1922.30 Diplomatic body met today to consider first, arms embargo act regarding which some ministers had only recently received instructions from their governments and secondly proposal to withhold naval assistance to China.

With regard to arms embargo Netherlands Minister expressed his objection to the interpretation clause of the identic telegram contained in my 405 October 4, 11 a.m. 1922.31 Other ministers declared their governments would not join in the embargo unless all nations did, and referred to the noninclusion of Russia, Finally the following statement was unanimously agreed on as a substitute for the identic telegram.

“The measures agreed to of [by?] the foreign representatives in China re embargo and [on] arms would in the main remain ineffective because the majority of the foreign representatives have no legal power to enforce them. In view of continued internal warfare they are however of opinion that as many powers as possible should approve the resolution proposed at Washington32 without reservations but widening scope by including aircraft other than commercial craft.”

With regard to proposal to withhold naval assistance to China the Netherlands Minister pointed out that this was matter which ultimately would have to be decided by his Government and in this opinion others concurred. The Japanese representative called attention to the change of language as stated in Department’s telegram 15, January 24, 5 p.m.33 and said that his Government had not been notified of such change. Whereon I suggested that the matter be laid over until the next meeting.

A copy of this message has been mailed to Tokyo.