861.77/3543: Telegram

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

266. Your telegram 170, July 26, 3 p.m.

At a conference here today of the diplomatic representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Japan and France, my French colleague stated that his Government had consulted the other three Governments on the unsatisfactory position taken by the Chinese Government in reply to our notes on the Chinese Eastern Railway question and that the British Government had suggested referring the matter to their Ministers in Peking in order that they might “devise effective measures” for dealing with the matter, and his Government had instructed him accordingly. He expressed the opinion from which there was no dissent that a joint note to the Chinese Government would be the most effective measure that could be adopted under the circumstances and submitted a draft which after being amended was agreed to for submission to our Governments as follows:

“The representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Japan and France, acting under instructions from their Governments, have the honor to recall to His Excellency the Minister for Foreign Affairs the solidarity which exists between China and the powers signatories of the Washington Conference with regard to the principles which constitute the basis of the policy adopted by the conference.

They desire especially to refer to the two resolutions of the Washington Conference concerning the Chinese Eastern Railway and to emphasize the obligations which those resolutions impose upon the Chinese Government. In addition they wish to call the special attention of His Excellency to the serious consequences which would ensue from change in the economic and legal status of the railway should such a change impair the administrative integrity of China and the principle of equal opportunity.

In view of the signature of the Sino-Russian Agreement of May 31st the representatives of the four Powers would be glad to receive satisfactory assurances on the above-mentioned points for communication to their Governments.”

[sic]. My British colleague said he had thus far sent nothing in writing on this subject to the Chinese Government.
My Japanese colleague said that in view of his instructions he believed his Government would not unite in a joint note. The position of his Government in Manchuria was a little different from [Page 509] ours as their note of June 7th24 indicated. To join in sending this proposed note might prejudice their own.
Please instruct.
  1. See telegram no. 175, June 13, from the Minister in China, p. 493.