Major General James G. Harbord to the Secretary of State
[Received February 12.]
My Dear Mr. Secretary: I acknowledge the receipt of your letter of February 9th,49 enclosing the views of Colonel Davis49a regarding the proposal of the Japanese Government that the present controversy regarding radio matters in China be settled by adopting the Japanese proposal of the radio consortium.
Colonel Davis has very clearly stated the arguments against a consortium. It is unnecessary, possibly ungrateful, to reiterate our hope that the State Department will push this matter to a conclusion at a very early date. Our loyalty to its position on the “Open Door” has cost us already half a million dollars in money paid out, which sum is increasing by a little less than $9,000 each month. We are quite convinced that a consortium for wireless communication in China would be very much better for China than no wireless communication at all. We very much appreciate the earnest support which our Federal project has in the past had from the State Department, and respectfully urge that there be no relaxation in such support. We do feel, however, that the moment the State Department becomes convinced that there is no likelihood of the Chinese going forward with our contract, no political objection to a consortium should be allowed to stand in the way of our making such arrangements as have been open to us for a long time.
I note that you desire Mr. Brown or myself to come to see you when in Washington, in order to talk these matters over. Thank you for the invitation, and it will be accepted at the first opportunity.