500.A4d/114: Telegram

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

43. Your telegram number 4 [21], January 20, 7 p.m., sets forth the logic of our position, but, in view of the mood of truculence which animates the attempts of the Minister for Foreign Affairs99 to undermine the authority of Washington Conference treaties, I doubt whether a reasonable statement will terminate the debate. It seems obvious that his desire is to make this the occasion for manifesting publicly that his school of nationalistic thought is more patriotic than that of his predecessors and rivals at Washington, and I fear he may allow the correspondence to leak into the press with his antagonistic gloss upon American subservience to the imperialistic powers unless he has an intimation that in doing so he might risk alienation of some degree of sympathy on our part. I therefore respectfully venture to request authorization to include in my note conveying the substance of your telegram, a definite statement of the following general purport.

“Mr. Kellogg further instructs me to advise you that he is at a loss to understand apparent disposition of the Chinese Foreign Office to place the American Government on the defensive for having conveyed to Germany an invitation in literal fulfillment of the provisions of a treaty signed with full cognizance of its import by the representatives of Your Excellency’s Government at the Washington Conference. He ventures the hope that Chinese Government may reconsider a position which would appear a repudiation of the conclusions of that conference and of the principles of friendly cooperation which inspired them. He therefore trusts that Your Excellency may deem it appropriate to discontinue a correspondence, which, if pursued, could lead only to a sharp difference of opinion and to imperilment of that warm sympathy towards China which the American Government and American opinion have had particular occasions to manifest.”

  1. C. T. Wang.