The Minister in China (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 24—9:25 a.m.]
344. 1. Through an oversight my telegram number 337, August 19, 7 p.m., erred in stating (penultimate sentence of first paragraph) that Belgian Minister had specified as alternative protective measures either appeal to the Washington Conference powers or resort to the Permanent Court. Although originally instructed to specify both of these alternatives, he obtained the permission of his Government to refer only to resort to the International Court of Justice.
2. He now confidentially advises me that his Government is approaching the other participants in the Washington Conference with a view to their making collective representations to the Chinese Government. He is informing the Belgian Government that in his opinion such representations would actually weaken the position taken by it on the clear-cut issue as to the interpretation of article number 46 of the treaty, besides irritation [irritating] Chinese nationalistic feeling which is especially impatient of collective action by the powers. I fully share the Belgian Minister’s opinion and suggest that, if approached, you might see fit to reply that collective action would appear advisable only in the event that the Chinese should offer unsatisfactory terms for the proposed modus vivendi.