893.74/604: Telegram

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

374. My 360, August 29, 4 p.m.

[Paraphrase.] I learn on what I consider reliable authority that my note was considered yesterday at an informal meeting of the interested Ministers with the Chief Executive. The Minister of Communications inquired whether he could go ahead with the American companies irrespective of the Japanese. The Chief Executive wavered and said that he would take the question under advisement. [End paraphrase.]
Japanese interests, presumably in view of our unwillingness to consider the Chinese proposal, have taken a lukewarm attitude towards it and have represented to the Ministry that the whole matter will in any case depend upon the result of discussions which the Japanese Government is about to open with the American Government.
The present danger is that the effect of our pressure upon the Chinese Government in the direct issue now joined with it will be dissipated by even an appearance that we have undertaken other negotiations with the Japanese. I therefore recommend that you take occasion to inform the Chinese Minister that notes which I presented by your direction to his Government on August 26th and 29th, call for a definite reply and corresponding action on the part of the Chinese Government; and that not until effect has been given to the Federal contract would you be willing to entertain any suggestions for the purpose of bringing about amicable accommodations of the several interests involved. Should you adopt this recommendation I should appreciate early notification of the action taken in pursuance thereof.
Copy mailed to Tokyo.