893.74/607: Telegram

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


249. The Department has received a letter of September 3 from Harbord28 acknowledging the receipt of pertinent parts of your telegram 349, August 25, 11 a.m., 356, August 27, 4 p.m.,29 and 361, August 29, 5 p.m. The letter reviews somewhat incorrectly the relations of the Radio Corporation of America to the Federal Company’s project and the general question of radio in China. Among other things Harbord writes in substance as follows:

In correspondence submitted to the Department and to the American delegation at the Washington Conference, Owen D. Young explained that the British, French, and Japanese radio interests were solicitous to have the Radio Corporation participate in a plan for wireless communication between China and foreign countries, including the United States; that it was the opinion of the Radio Corporation, based upon the success of a similar arrangement with respect to South America, that radio communication between China and this country would be served best by participation in some arrangement of that kind; but that because of the decision by the Department that radio communication between China and this country should be provided on the basis of the existing Federal project, the Radio Corporation informed its British, French, and Japanese associates that it could not go any further in an international arrangement.

Harbord’s letter recounts such delays as expenses of the Radio Corporation in connection with the Federal project, the failure to deliver bonds, etc., as evidence that the corporation has not been lacking in loyalty to the position of our Government. In conclusion, either in anticipation that the reply of the Chinese Government to your latest representations will be definitely unfavorable or merely a promise that possibly there will be further negotiations, Harbord requests the Department to consider the desirability of giving the Radio Corporation liberty to make such arrangements with foreign associates as it can to assure American participation in the wireless communications of China, with the understanding that the Department will be kept fully informed of the progress of any negotiations and that the Radio Corporation will not enter into any arrangement which will involve unfair discrimination against other American interests.

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In his letter Harbord does not mention the request of Davis, transmitted in your 356, August 27, 4 p.m., that Young communicate with the Mitsui Company. The first part of the letter indicates that the Radio Corporation objects to the Chinese proposal of August 28.

The Department is waiting for a report as to the results of your representations to the Chinese Foreign Office and Chief Executive before answering Harbord’s letter.

  1. Gen. James G. Harbord, president of the Radio Corporation of America.
  2. Telegram No. 356 not printed.