Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hamilton)

The Chinese Minister called and said that he had received a telegram from the Chinese Government stating that the Chinese Government requirements were that exporters of arms to China from foreign countries must obtain prior to export a huchao from the Chinese [Page 494] Government or a permit from the Chinese Legation concerned. The Minister said also that the Foreign Office had pointed out that the new requirements were inaugurated because of conditions in southwest China. The Minister asked that this factor in the situation be treated as strictly confidential. He said that the Foreign Office telegram instructed him to urge the State Department to act in conformity with the Chinese request in regulating the export of arms from the United States to China in order that stability in China might be increased. The Minister said further that the Foreign Office telegram indicated that the Chinese Government was appreciative of the cooperative efforts of the American Government in the past in this matter and that the Chinese Government had addressed to all interested powers a request similar to that addressed to the American Government.

I explained to the Minister that we were preparing a telegram to Minister Johnson requesting Minister Johnson to inform the Chinese Foreign Office that we were inclined to acquiesce in the request made by the Chinese Government but that before making final decision we wished to be informed in regard to the attitude and action of the governments of other important arms exporting countries. I inquired of the Minister whether he wished to have us make our inquiries through him or through Minister Johnson in Peiping. Dr. Sze replied that he preferred that we make the inquiries through Minister Johnson. I then said that we would endeavor to keep him informed with regard to any action taken by the Department and in regard to our final decision.

M[axwell] M. H[amilton]