706.6193/19: Telegram

The Chargé in China ( Bell ) to the Secretary of State

321. [My] 316, August 3 [31], 1 p.m. Karakhan has sent Yoshizawa following note August 30th:

“I have the honor to acknowledge that on the 29th instant Your Excellency handed me your note with the note of August 18th embodying the statement of the American Government, and which I have already received once before, opposed [apposed?] to it.

I take note with satisfaction of the statement made by Your Excellency to the effect that it was only your obligation and duty as senior representative [of] eight protocol powers, as to which moreover I never had any doubts, [that made] Your Excellency undertake the task of conveying to me such a statement of the American Government.

However, I feel constrained to state that I cannot accept the explanation of Your Excellency to the effect that the note in question ‘was in no way to be construed as containing any insignia [insinuation] against my Government or institution,’ and that I still hold my view that the form of the statement made by Your Excellency’s American colleague is neither proper nor courteous for relations between two governments.

I may be allowed together with Your Excellency to express the hope that the American Government will make no further attempts at presenting me with a communication which I cannot accept and which, as I already had the honor to remark, [is not] supported by international law and practice.

Herewith I beg to enclose the note of August 18, 1924, which Your Excellency Sent me a second time on the 29th instant.”

Yoshizawa, after consulting Netherlands Minister who has returned to Peking and resumed duties as dean of the diplomatic corps, sent the following reply to Karakhan yesterday:

“In acknowledging the receipt of your note of the 30th August I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that your note under acknowledgment together with its enclosure has been transmitted to [His Excellency] the Netherlands Minister, the senior representative of the protocol ministers.”

On learning today of this last exchange of notes I told the Japanese Minister I considered he had done all that could be asked as a colleague and as senior protocol minister and I begged that as far as I was concerned he would now let the matter drop as I thought nothing was to be gained by his continuing this controversy with Karakhan. He agreed and will take no further action.

Bell