Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Johnson)

The German Ambassador called upon me this morning when the Secretary was absent at Cabinet. He stated that he had a reply from his Government to the question which the Secretary had asked him the other day regarding the proposal of the Chinese that legations in China be raised to the status of embassies. He stated that his Government was in a peculiar position with regard to this matter in that it had not been approached by the Chinese Government on the subject. He said that his Government desired to follow the policy outlined by this Government in the matter, and his Government felt as it understood we felt, that the Nationalist Government deserved encouragement and assistance and it would be glad to do anything possible toward that end. He said it was his Government’s understanding that the Japanese Government carried a provision in its current budget for elevating its legation in China to the status of an embassy but that the Japanese Government at the present time was not disposed to take any action in this matter because of certain pending questions between the Japanese Government and the Nationalist Government of China and the Japanese Government thought the Nationalist Government might wish to use the desire of the Chinese Government to raise its legation to the status of an embassy in connection with the settlement of such questions. He said it was his understanding that the British Government also had outstanding questions and that the British, Japanese and French Governments not having recognized the Nationalist Government of China would not be prepared at this time to consider raising their legations to the status of embassies.

The Ambassador said that his Government would desire to reconsider this matter, however, should the United States Government decide to raise the American Legation to the rank of an embassy. He asked me to convey this message to the Secretary, which I promised to do.

N[elson] T. J[ohnson]