Memorandum by the Consul General at Nanking (Peck) of a Conversation With the Assistant Director of the Department of General Affairs, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (T. L. Wang)12

Dr. Wang said that the National Government wondered whether the American authorities could do anything to prevent the shipment of airplanes from Europe to Canton by way of Manila. He emphasized [Page 1024] that he was not actually asking that anything be done to intercept these planes, but was merely discussing with Mr. Peck the question whether anything could be done. He said that several Junkers planes were coming to Canton, by way of Manila and it occurred to the Chinese Government that the American Government, if it were so disposed, might invoke the Versailles Treaty,14 which forbids Germany to export munitions and to manufacture military planes, and on this basis intercept these planes and prevent their reaching Canton.

Mr. Peck observed that, to the best of his recollection, the portion of the Versailles Treaty mentioned by Dr. Wang15 was among the sections of the Treaty the right to invoke which was reserved by the United States in the Treaty with Germany.16 However, Mr. Peck said he doubted whether the planes now in question were manufactured in Germany at all. He said that the Junkers planes purchased by the National Government were manufactured in Denmark, while their motors were manufactured in some other country outside of Germany, probably Belgium. The fact that the National Government had likewise purchased Junkers planes might, moreover weaken the force of the appeal which Dr. Wang suggested.

Dr. Wang said that the United States was not a party to the Barcelona Convention, relating to goods in transit, and this Convention, therefore, interposed no obstacle.

Dr. Wang again said that he was not placing any request through Mr. Peck that the American Government do anything in the premises. Such a request might come later, if it appeared that there was something the American Government could do. Mr. Peck said he might refer the matter to the Department of State, for its information.

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Consul General at Nanking in his despatch No. D–76, August 7; received August 31.
  2. Signed June 28, 1919; see especially art. 170, Treaties, Conventions, etc., 1910–1923, vol. iii, pp. 3329, 3402.
  3. i. e., part V.
  4. See art. ii of treaty signed August 25, 1921, Foreign Relations, 1921, vol. ii, p. 29.