Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Johnson)

Mr. Frank W. Lee, representative of the Nanking authorities, called on Mr. Johnson this morning with reference to the matter of a Chinese commission to negotiate treaty revision. Mr. Lee stated that he had received a telegram informing him that the Nanking authorities had approved the appointment of Alfred Sze and one [Page 368] other person as representatives from Peking. No one was named but he thought that the representative would be either Wellington Koo or Dr. W. W. Yen. He asked Mr. Johnson whether this would meet with the approval of the American Government. Mr. Johnson stated that the American Government could not say in advance that such a delegation would be satisfactory to it. He stated that the Secretary’s statement of January 27, 1927, had laid down the basis upon which the American Government was willing to negotiate. Any delegation must be representative of China and it must be a delegation which could insure that the commitments which it undertook would be carried out. Mr. Lee stated that he wanted to give his government as much encouragement as possible and at the same time not to mislead them and he asked for a statement which he could make to them of the Secretary’s position. Mr. Johnson stated that he could tell them that when China appoints a delegation which will be representative of the Chinese authorities, the Secretary stands ready to fulfill the promises which he made in his statement of January 27, 1927. Mr. Lee stated that this was very satisfactory.