The Secretary of State to the Minister in China (MacMurray)48

No. 147

Sir: The British Ambassador called on me on February 4th and asked me as to the status of the negotiations in the matter of the Chinese radio. I answered that I could not give him the details, but that I had understood that Japan had made a proposition to China that all governments interested in radio, including Japan, Great Britain, France and the United States, should enter into a consortium for a joint operation. He said that this also was his understanding of the matter. I told the Ambassador further that the Chinese had objected to such a consortium when it was suggested at the Washington Conference. He answered that it was his understanding that at the time it was not proposed that China should itself participate in the consortium, whereas the later proposal was that it should be a Chinese corporation under control of the Chinese Government. I informed him that China had never replied to the Japanese proposal and that we were unable to find out exactly the attitude of the Chinese Government.

The Ambassador said that his Government had the impression that the Radio Corporation was using its influence in China in opposition to this proposal. I answered that I did not so understand it, that the Radio Corporation was, of course, insisting that China should carry out its contract of concessions for the construction and operation of a station at Shanghai and that negotiations along these lines [Page 1052] were proceeding with China. I said further that I understood there had been informal conversations between Colonel Davis and Mr. Saburi in relation to joint operation, but that I did not know exactly the status of these conversations. The Ambassador said that Great Britain had no station of its own but was interested because of the concession. I told Sir Esme finally that I had been informed that the Japanese station was not adequate to furnish long distance service and that in any event there ought to be another radio station.

I am [etc.]

Frank B. Kellogg
  1. The same, on the same date, to the Ambassador in Japan and to the Chargé in Great Britain.