The British Embassy to the Department of State

Aide Memoire

His Britannic Majesty’s Embassy desire to draw the attention of the State Department to the letter which His Majesty’s Ambassador addressed to Mr. Butler Wright on August 27th, 1926,44 setting forth the attitude of His Majesty’s Government towards the wireless controversy in China, and explaining in what respects the agreement concluded on September 19th, 1921, between the Federal Company and the Chinese Government appeared open to objection on the score of tending towards the establishment of a radio monopoly in China.

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In this connection, it has now come to the notice of His Majesty’s Government that, in a conversation which took place at New York in September last between Mr. Kellaway, Managing Director of the Marconi Company, and General Harbord, President of the Radio Corporation of America, the latter intimated that the Radio Corporation of America desired nothing more than equal treatment for all the principal wireless companies concerned, provided that the interests of the Federal Company were safeguarded as regards the maintenance of direct communication across the Pacific between China and the United States. A settlement on the basis of these principles would, in the opinion of the Marconi Company, go far to safeguard their prior rights to which attention was drawn in the note No. 566 which His Majesty’s Ambassador wrote to the Secretary of State on May 28th, 1925,45 and also pave the way for an agreement between the various national interests concerned on the basis of the principle of equality of opportunity, on which emphasis was laid in Mr. Chilton’s note to the Secretary of State No. 704 of July 22nd, 1925.46

In these circumstances, His Majesty’s Embassy, on instructions from His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, beg leave to enquire whether the United States Government are now prepared to endorse the formation of a wireless consortium on the part of the powers concerned as suggested in the fifth paragraph of the memorandum communicated to the State Department by the Japanese Embassy at this capital on December 24th, 1924,47 to which reference was made in His Majesty’s Ambassador’s above mentioned note of May 28th, 1925, and, furthermore, whether it is their view that the negotiations for the formation of such a consortium can now be pursued on the basis of the two principles formulated by General Harbord, viz. no monopoly for any one of the wireless interests concerned, and guarantees for the maintenance of direct wireless communication between China and the United States.