The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Howard)
Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Note No. 280 of March 26, 1924, stating that the British Government no longer considers it necessary to maintain the naval demonstration in force at Canton in consequence of Sun Yat-sen’s threat to seize the Customs at that port, provided that arrangements can be made for its renewal in case of necessity, and inquiring whether this Government is in agreement with this view and would be prepared to cooperate in arranging for a renewal of the naval demonstration in case of necessity.
Although this Government has received no definite recommendation from its Minister in Peking that the demonstration is no longer necessary, it nevertheless understands that there no longer exists any urgent need for the continuance thereof beyond the usual detail of naval forces which it has been customary to maintain at and in the vicinity of Canton.
Without committing itself to any definite engagement such as appears to be suggested in your Note, with respect to any eventual action in regard to the situation at Canton, it is aware of no circumstances which would cause it to alter its previous attitude of cooperation in the event of a similar emergency occurring in the future.