893.113/769: Telegram

The Chargé in France (Whitehouse) to the Secretary of State


502. … It seems evident that with the present definition for commercial aircraft the French have not broken the letter of the [Page 534] law and for that reason no purpose would be served by further representations. Phipps, the British Minister, concurs with this opinion. It would take too much time to secure the adoption of a different definition of commercial aircraft. I told Phipps that the only solution I could see to serve the purpose would be for all the interested powers to adopt an agreement embargoing the shipment of airplanes of any kind to China until political conditions there cleared up.

I told Phipps that the above was merely my own suggestion and I did not at all know whether you would be inclined to accept it. Phipps seemed to think that the British Government would be willing to adopt such a proposal should you make it.

Although I have not sounded the French, I think they might agree if the suggestion is practicable and if it is clearly understood that it is a temporary measure. Another possible way to meet the situation would be to point out to the French Government that the purchases are obviously made for military reasons, as commercial aviation does not exist in China, and to ask them therefore to get their manufacturers to postpone delivery.

  1. Telegram in 3 sections.