711.9412Anti-War/100: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Japan ( Neville )


21. Your 26, March 20, 4 p.m. I shall not do anything to put the treaty into effect among the fourteen powers. As I understand the nature of the Japanese difficulties and that the treaty will be ratified undoubtedly some time in April, I would take no steps likely to offend or embarrass Japan.

On June 23, 1928, my attention was called by the Japanese Chargé9 to the language of the treaty as not in accordance with the Japanese Constitution. I prepared a memorandum which explained the meaning and gave the definitions of this language in English and French; a copy was sent to you.10 So far as I was ever aware, the Japanese were satisfied by this, because in the note handed to you on July 20,11 in which they accepted the final draft, no mention was made of the point and the phraseology is used as follows:12

“In reply, I have the honor to inform you that the Japanese Government are happy to be able to give their full concurrence to the alterations now proposed, their understanding of the original draft submitted to them in April last being, as I indicated in my note to His Excellency, Mr. MacVeagh of 26 May, 1928, substantially the same as that entertained by the Government of the United States. They are therefore ready to have prepared instruments [to give instructions] for signature, on that wording [footing], of the treaty in the form in which it is now proposed.”

The alterations here referred to pertained to the preamble and not to this particular point, so that no intimation was ever given me that the statement made in my memorandum of July 6, 1928, was not entirely satisfactory.

  1. See memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Western European Affairs June 23, 1928, Foreign Relations, 1928, vol. i, p. 96.
  2. See telegram No. 73, July 6, 1928, 6 p.m., to the Chargé in Japan, ibid., p. 104.
  3. See telegram No. 88, July 20, 1928, 6 p.m., from the Chargé in Japan, ibid., p. 123.
  4. Quotation not paraphrased.