500.A 4e 1/62: Telegram

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

80. With reference to the Department’s 63, March 31, 4 P.M., the Department has received the following telegram from London:

“At a conference at the Foreign Office I was informed that the British Government is entirely in agreement with the views expressed by the Department. If the Department will inform the Foreign Office through me the instructions it proposes to send to the [Page 518] American Minister at Peking in accordance with those views, the Foreign Office is prepared to instruct the British Minister to join with his American colleague. The Foreign Office believes, however, that it would be impolitic to give a flat refusal to the Chinese Government’s request for a preliminary conference; that it might be wise to state while refusing the request that the treaty powers are thoroughly alive to the importance of the situation and intend to consult together concerning the best means of giving practical effect to the Washington agreements having regard to present conditions in China. The Foreign Minister suggests that the form of the note be left to the Diplomatic Body at Peking ad referendum

The Department is replying to London36 that it is telegraphing you to consider as definite instructions the views in Department’s telegram to you No. 60 March 22, 4 P.M., and that the text of the telegram from London above quoted is being transmitted to you with the statement that the Department concurs in the opinion of the British Foreign Office that it would be impolitic to state the refusal of the Chinese Government’s request too flatly.

  1. Telegram not printed.