893.74/782: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (MacVeagh) to the Secretary of State

130. The following from MacMurray:42

Vice Minister Debuchi handed me the following confidential memorandum of what he described as his personal views as to the solution of the Federal Wireless question when I called upon him this morning in company with the Ambassador:
“Confidential. The following general outline is suggested as a basis of negotiation among the American and Japanese business interests and the Chinese Ministry of Communications:
The Governments of Japan and of the United States shall have no objection to restoring to China the rights concerning wireless telegraphy in China which are held by their respective companies and to the cancellation of all the existing contracts.
In Shanghai, China shall establish her own wireless station. The Federal Telegraph Company may supply material for, and undertake the construction of, the said station which shall be capable of communicating directly with stations in the United States.
China shall conclude loan contracts with the Japanese and American companies in regard to their respective amounts of investment, on condition that the terms of those loans shall be equal to Japan and the United States and that special regard shall be had to the following points:
China shall provide reliable securities for the proposed loans such securities to be common to both the Japanese and American loans.
Until such time as the above-mentioned loans shall have been completely redeemed, China shall engage Japanese and American accountants respectively and engineers for each wireless station.
China shall guarantee that in future she will not grant to any foreign country or its nationals any exclusive right of operation of wireless telegraphy in China either singly or jointly with China.
Upon an agreement of the views being reached between Japan, the United States and China on the above-mentioned proposals, the Japanese and American companies concerned and the representative of the Chinese [Government] shall without delay hold a conference and make detailed arrangements on the basis of the principles above laid down, the place for that conference to be fixed by consultation among the three countries.”
Upon my commenting that the matter concerned the American Government only as regards the two essential points discussed in my conversations with Matsudaira,43 Debuchi said that the Japanese Government likewise desired to do away with any monopoly, but inquired what we meant by “the direct communications” upon which we [Page 479] insisted. He seemed much relieved when I explained that we meant simply freedom to communicate between stations in China and in the United States without the intervention of stations under control of a third party, and said that failure to understand this had heretofore caused the Japanese some apprehension lest we should intend the phrase to cover complete American control and operation of the Shanghai station. To cover this point he inserted the concluding clause of the third paragraph of the memorandum quoted above.
He asked if I would be prepared to support the proposal outlined by him. I said that I should be glad to submit it to you without delay but must frankly tell him that as I understood the matter you would regard the several suggestions made as being matters entirely for the decision of the American radio interests concerned. He said that he quite understood that, but only wished to be assured that you would have no objection to a settlement on that basis by the American radio interests. I told him that while I could not speak with authority I was personally of the opinion that you would have no objection if the companies should find that basis of arrangement acceptable.
He suggested that the meeting of interested parties to take place if this basis were agreed upon between the Japanese and American interests should be held at Peking or perhaps alternatively at Tokyo. I urged New York as being removed from the actuality and the appearance of political influence over its deliberations. He said that the place of meeting was minor matter which might be considered after an understanding in general terms had been reached as between the Japanese and Americans.
Repeated to Peking referring to its telegram of November 28, noon.

  1. The Minister to China was at Tokyo, en route to his post at Peking from a visit to the United States.
  2. Japanese Ambassador at Washington.