Memorandum by the Secretary of State
The Japanese Ambassador1 called to see me and presented a memorandum as follows:
“The recent statement made by the Secretary of State on the Chinese situation does not only fall in line with our policy in China, but also coincides in some respects with the new British policy toward that country. Steady, sound and timely, that statement is considered to bring about a favorable result in harmonizing the Powers’ policy in China. I am convinced that, should the United States and Japan be able to maintain conjointly a sound attitude toward China by frankly exchanging views, from time to time, it would go a long way towards the amelioration of the general situation in that country.”
He also said that he thought it would be wise for the Japanese and ourselves to exchange views on the Chinese question as often as possible; that he understood the Ministers at Peking had had a meeting to discuss the proposition of implementing the surtaxes; that the Netherlands Minister wishes to disconnect them from the Washington [Page 357] Treaty; but there were so many views that the Ministers said they would get instructions from their governments and they had taken no action.
I read him then the last clause of our telegram to MacMurray, No. 35, January 31st,2 and it was his personal view that it was a good thing to do, that it was very timely. He said his Government was considering a similar plan having instructed their Consuls and Minister in Peking to report upon its feasibility. However, he said he thought we ought to act jointly.