The Chargé in Denmark ( Harriman ) to the Secretary of State

No. 796

Sir: In reply to the Department’s Instruction No. 226, of August 13th last,60 in which reference is made to an Instruction dated October 17, 1923,61 requesting this Legation to communicate to the Danish Foreign Office the views of the United States Government with respect to the proposed modification of the terms of the existing embargo on the shipment of arms and munitions of war to China, and to express the hope of the Government of the United States that the Danish Government would approve the terms of the modified embargo, I have the honor to enclose, herewith, copy and translation of a Note from the Royal Danish Foreign Office, dated November 6, 1924, setting forth the views of the Danish Government in regard to this matter.

I have [etc.]

Oliver B. Harriman
[Page 535]

The Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs ( Moltke ) to the American Chargé ( Harriman )

Mr. Chargé d’affaires: By a note dated November 5, 1923, you were good enough to submit to the Royal Government an interpretation of the draft resolution in regard to the prohibition of the importation of arms and munitions into China, presented at the Washington Conference, and discussed at a meeting of the Chiefs of Mission at Peking on October 3, 1922. At the same time you informed my predecessor that your Government intended to advise its Minister at Peking that it would be ready to adhere formally to the resolution, as well as to the interpretation, on the condition that there should be substantial unanimity on the subject between the powers represented at Peking.

In making this communication you expressed the hope that the Danish Government might find it possible to instruct its representative at Peking in a similar sense.

By a note of September 10th last, Mr. Prince63 subsequently advised my Government that the United States Government would appreciate being informed without delay as to the point of view of the Royal Government with regard to this question.

After having had recourse to the competent authorities, I have the honor to inform you as follows:

The Royal Government shares warmly the general desire to see normal conditions reestablished in China. For that same reason it adhered in due course without hesitation to the agreement of 1919, within the limits permitted by legislation.

The Danish Government considers it of great importance that the arrangement eventually adopted on the subject in question shall obtain the approval of all the powers whose adherence would have real importance for its efficacy.

The Royal Government has subjected the draft resolution discussed at the Washington Conference to a thorough examination, and, as far as it is concerned, would see with much pleasure a sufficiently general support of the resolution in order to attain the object sought.

The interpretation of the draft discussed at the meeting of the Chiefs of Mission at Peking on October 3, 1922, does not conform to the Danish laws now in force. However, the reports of the [Page 536] King’s Minister at Peking have given the Royal Government the impression that some doubt has arisen as to the results of that meeting, inasmuch as there is some uncertainty as to whether the interpretation in question can be adopted to an extent necessary to insure its efficacy. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has again requested information from the Royal Legation at Peking on that point.

The Royal Government would, however, be disposed—on the condition that all the other powers interested adopt an analogous position—to adhere, in conformity with the recommendation voted by the Chiefs of Mission at Peking on February 9, 1923, to the resolution proposed at the Washington Conference without interpretation, with the reservation, however, that airplanes be excluded insofar as the regulations in force governing the prohibition of exportation in Denmark are concerned.

Please accept [etc.]

C. Moltke
  1. Not printed.
  2. See Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. i, p. 614, footnote 45.
  3. File translation revised.
  4. John D. Prince, Minister in Denmark.