Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hornbeck) of a Conversation With the Second Secretary of the French Embassy (Boisanger)
Mr. Boisanger requested an appointment and came in bringing the aide-mémoire here attached.84
He called special attention to the last paragraph of the aide-mémoire and said that his Government would like to know our opinion. I asked Mr. Boisanger just what was meant by the expression “prendraient une forme précise”: did it mean “be given a formal expression” or did it mean “be made effective”. Mr. Boisanger replied that it was ambiguous and it might mean either, but that he thought that the question was: What attitude would the Department expect to adopt in case the intention announced by the Manchuria authorities should be put into effect. I said that thus far we had not been informed officially of an intention on the part of those authorities to abolish extraterritoriality in Manchuria; we had merely seen in the press reports of statements on their part or on the part of the Japanese that there is that intention. I said that we are opposed in principle to such action; that we have, as have France and other countries, treaty rights with regard to extraterritoriality in China; that we regard the China treaties as still applying with regard to Manchuria; and that we do not give assent to termination of treaty rights by unilateral action; that we do not think the time has come for the termination of extraterritorial rights; and that we imagine that the French Government feels the same way with regard to these points. Mr. Boisanger said that he thought that it did. I said that it was impossible to state in advance what, given a certain situation in the future, we might do; but that the presumption might be that we would oppose by diplomatic processes any such course of action in or with regard to Manchuria. I said that I assumed that France and Great Britain would likewise view with disapproval any such action: This was one of many matters with regard to which the powers have common interests and common concern. Mr. Boisanger said that he felt that this reasoning was sound and that he would report to his Government what I had said.
- Not printed.↩