The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 18—7:08 a.m.]
337. Your 116, April 7, 7 p.m. British, Italian and American notes, identical as to substance, were delivered at the Foreign Office April 13, 3 p.m. The Minister for Foreign Affairs being in hospital on account of eye trouble Peck called upon Vice Minister Hsu Mo April 13, 4 p.m., and explained to him orally the reasons prompting American refusal. Dr. Hsu revealed great disappointment at American Government’s rejection of request and showed intense desire to learn whether American decision had been arrived at after consultation with other interested powers. He added that natural difficulties of Chinese Government were far worse at present than in 1932 and observed that Chinese Government had given assurance that educational institutions dependent on indemnity remissions would be taken care of if present decision indicated attitude of new administration. He wondered how it would deal with war debts owed by European nations who were seeking for cancellation. In reply to Peck’s observation that money remitted was spent in China itself Hsu suggested that this was another reason for granting request for further postponement.