793.003/532: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in China (Johnson)

67. Legation’s No. 84, February 24, 5 p.m. and No. 82, February 24, 12 noon.36

On February 20 the Chinese Minister handed to the Department a statement which reads in part as follows:
[Here follows text of first four paragraphs and final paragraph of statement printed supra, and reference to four unquoted paragraphs.]
As it seems that the Chinese Minister is not prepared to carry on the negotiations on the basis of any of the proposals which have been made by the Department or to make any proposals himself except under express instructions from Nanking, and as we feel that any indication on our part at this time of willingness to make further concessions might prejudice the effort which we assume that the British [Page 737] Government intends to make, through its Minister, at Nanking, the Department feels that the best contribution which it can make for the time being will be temporarily to suspend its efforts and await developments, especially indications of the response which the Chinese may make to the British effort. The Department desires that you ascertain, as far as possible, what, if anything, the British Minister intends to propose, and that you keep in touch with steps taken by him and with developments, and that you keep the Department fully informed.
You should inform the British Minister of the above. You are authorized to discuss the whole problem fully and frankly with him and to tell him that until further notice we shall make no new move, thus leaving him a clear field, but that we shall be prepared as soon as the situation may seem to warrant, and upon having given notice, to take new steps.37
Comments and suggestions will be welcomed.
  1. Neither printed.
  2. The Department similarly informed the Embassy in Great Britain in telegram No. 50, February 27, 1931, 2 p.m., for communication to the British Foreign Office, with the comment that closer British consultation would be welcomed.