Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hornbeck) of a Conversation With the Adviser to the Chinese Ministry of Finance (Arthur N. Young)

Mr. Young called and said that he wished to talk about payment of the Boxer Indemnity: The subject had been left in abeyance pending the arrival here of the Minister of Finance. He, Young, wished to lay before us on behalf of the Minister (Soong) a proposal. He then handed me a paper, of which the attached is a copy.53

In this memorandum there is set forth a proposal the substance of which is that China resume payments but on a reduced scale which would cut down the amounts paid during each of three periods of six months beginning in June 1933 and making readjustments in the schedule so as to cover these amounts in final payments after 1941 together with some other readjustments.

I at once asked Mr. Young whether this proposal had been submitted to the British and the Italian Governments. He replied that it had not. I stated that in my opinion any such proposal, if submitted to any one of the three Governments should be submitted to all three simultaneously. Mr. Young said that Mr. Soong was contemplating submitting it to the other two Governments. I said that if it was submitted it should not only be submitted to all three Governments simultaneously but should be submitted from Nanking and not from Washington. Mr. Young said that he supposed that such would be the proper procedure. I said that I did not believe that the Department would wish to consider the proposal unless and until it knew that the same thing was being submitted to the other two Governments at the same time; that I would be willing to keep the memorandum temporarily and look it over, but that I would not for the moment receive it on behalf of the Department. Mr. Young said that that would be all right.

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