Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Johnson)

The Italian Ambassador called and read to the Secretary portions of telegrams received from his Government concerning China. …

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[Page 684]

The Ambassador stated that his Government had received confidential information to the effect that the British Foreign Office was at this time making a careful study of the situation at Canton with a view to extending recognition to the Canton regime. He said that his Government desired information as to whether we had contemplated any action.

The Secretary informed the Ambassador that the policy of this Government was to enter into friendly relations with any government representing China capable of negotiating for China and committing China; that the question of extending recognition to the regime at Canton had not been considered by this Government; that we were not prepared to enter into relations of a formal nature with any part of China; that doubtless the question of extending recognition would have to be considered if and when that regime obtained control over the greater part of China.

N[elson] T. J[ohnson]