The Secretary of State to the Chargé in China (Mayer)38
272. A Secretary of the French Embassy today read to the Division of Far Eastern Affairs a telegram from his Government to the following general effect:—
For 7 or 8 years the interested Powers have been according unconditionally and practically as a matter of routine their recognition [Page 417] of the successive Governments that have followed each other in Peking: these recent Governments have not lived up to their responsibilities or respected the rights of the foreign Powers; it therefore appears to the French Government that the recent coup d’état affords occasion for the Powers to withhold recognition to the new Government with a view to forcing it to give satisfactory assurances of its readiness to fulfil its obligations to the Powers. The telegram added that the French Government was approaching in this sense the other Governments principally interested, among them the Belgian Government, which had already assented to the French suggestion.
The Department would welcome your comment upon this suggestion with particular reference to the question of legal authority arising out of the resignation of the President and the assumption of his duties by the Cabinet as reported in your telegram No. 427, November 3, 5 p.m.39
Repeat to Tokyo as Department’s No. 183.