The Minister in China (MacMurray) to the Ambassador in Japan (MacVeagh)38

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a copy of your despatch No. 710, December 17, 1927, to the Department39 regarding Federal Wireless. I have perhaps been neglectful in failing to inform you that I have had no negotiations or discussions whatever on this subject with any Chinese authorities, beyond informing them of the substance of the conversations with Matsudaira40 and Debuchi.41

I am at a loss to understand the continuing series of Chinese and Japanese press reports elaborately describing interviews that have never taken place. My present surmise is that the controlling groups in Peking and Nanking are alike anxious to throw over all obligations and commitments to both American and Japanese interests and shop around for a variety of small and cheap short-wave stations here and there with a view to getting themselves into a position to dicker among the rival groups. To that end they are trying to create a public sentiment antagonistic to both the American and the Japanese interests by creating a legend that the Americans and Japanese are trying to form an oppressive combination. And it appears to me that the Japanese, not seeing the woods for the trees, and failing to realize that their whole stake in the question (represented by the existing Mitsui station) is likely to be wiped out, are mistakenly attempting to boost their own stock by conveying the impression that they are arranging the whole thing with us behind the backs of the Chinese. If I am right in this conjecture, the Japanese are contributing towards a situation involving a cut-throat competition in which their existing station will not be competent [Page 562] to participate and will be left without the wire connections necessary to make it serve any paying commercial, press or political use. My belief is that unless the Japanese in the immediate future (and perhaps it is already too late) rally to the support of the Radio Corporation’s proposal to discuss matters on a purely commercial basis in New York, we shall have in China a meaningless and unsystematic tangle in international radio that will take years to straighten out, and will serve no useful purpose. Not even the Chinese (Northern or Southern) will actually profit by it, although they may have the satisfaction of feeling that they have made fools of all the foreigners, and have succeeded in escaping the liabilities they have hitherto incurred.

I have [etc.]

J. V. A. MacMurray
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Minister in China in his despatch No. 1364, January 24; received March 3.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Tsuneo Matsudaira, Japanese Ambassador at Washington.
  4. Katsuji Debuchi, Japanese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs.