793.94/2512: Telegram

The Consul at Geneva (Gilbert) to the Secretary of State

282. I have just received, delayed in transmission, from the Secretariat a copy of a memorandum of the Chinese Government transmitted by Sze on October 31st to Drummond in reply to the Japanese declaration of October 26th63 (Consulate’s 263, October 28, 11 a.m.64).

This forms part of a series of such exchanges which frequently assume importance through being cited later in the negotiations. The memorandum introduces no new elements but restates and emphasizes certain main principles of the Chinese position with particular reference to the Council’s draft resolution of October 24th. The following is a brief summary of its contents:

The very presence of Japanese troops in Chinese territory creates the danger of which the Japanese now complain in regard to anti-Japanese feeling and insecurity of Japanese nationals. In support of this view the memorandum cites Briand’s statement on this point to the Council on October 24 and quotes the reply of Secretary Hughes65 to the Japanese statement66 to the Washington Conference to the effect that the Japanese Government could not withdraw its troops from Eastern Siberia without endangering the lives of its subjects and that it deemed necessary the occupation of Russian territory as a means of assuring a suitable adjustment with a future Russian Government.
The memorandum reaffirms the ability of the Chinese Government to insure the safety of Japanese lives and property in proportion as the evacuation is effected and to that end reiterated its willingness to extend the system of neutral officers or with the help of the League to devise any other arrangements on the spot.
The Chinese Government notes with satisfaction the Japanese denial of any intention to bring armed pressure to bear in negotiations with China but points out that if this be the view of the Japanese Government the only way to give effect to it is to cease to demand as a condition precedent to the evacuation of its troops, that China come to an agreement with Japan on basic principles which are to govern the whole of the future relations of the two countries. Giving effect to evacuation and guarantees of security involves nothing more than local arrangements on the spot and could be accomplished in a few days.
Suggests for settlement of Sino-Japanese questions the appointment of a permanent board of conciliation.

  1. For text of Japanese declaration, see statement issued at Tokyo, October 27, by the Japanese Government, p. 336.
  2. Not printed.
  3. See Foreign Relations, 1922, vol. i, p. 367.
  4. Ibid., p.364.