846G.113/272a

The Secretary of State to the British Chargé (Mallet)

Sir: I refer to the Ambassador’s note of July 1, 1936,42 and previous correspondence, in regard to the regulations governing the exportation of arms, ammunition and implements of war destined to China, and have to inform you that I am in receipt of information which would appear to indicate that the pertinent regulations of the French Government are still unsatisfactory if judged by the criteria set forth in our former correspondence on this subject.

The information which I have received—and I have reason to believe it accurate—is to the effect that the Yunnan Provincial Government placed an order on June 12 with the Groupe de Chine for the following: [Page 565]

12 mountain guns, 75 millimetre calibre 12,000 shells for these guns
40 trench mortars, 81 millimetre calibre 10,000 shells for these mortars
4 trench mortars, 120 millimetre caliber
400 shells for these mortars
100 machine guns (Hotchkiss)
4 light tanks (Renault), two of which are equipped with one light machine gun each, and two of which are equipped with one gun each of 37 millimetre caliber
6 motorcycles with side-car
6 motorcycles with side-car, equipped with one light machine gun each
Optical instruments for the direction of the artillery fire
10,000 rifles (Belgian)
10,000,000 cartridges for these rifles (Belgian)

It appears that no huchao covering this proposed shipment was obtained from the Central Government; that the Yunnan Provincial Government has not requested a huchao for it; and that the Groupe de Chine has not insisted that it do so.

The report of this proposed shipment reinforces the misgivings which I expressed in my note on this subject addressed to the Ambassador on June 24. I should appreciate it, therefore, if you would inform me as to whether your Government desires to take the action which I proposed in that note, or proposes to take any other action to accomplish the purposes on which your Government and this Government are in substantial agreement as indicated by our previous correspondence on this subject.43

Accept [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
R. Walton Moore
  1. Not printed; it acknowledged receipt of the Secretary of State’s note of June 24 (846G. 113/271).
  2. The British Chargé d’Affaires in his note No. 298, September 16, informed the Secretary of State that the above information had been communicated to his Government (846.G113/273). There was no further reply from the British Government on this point; however, negotiations on the general subject of shipment of arms to China continues in 1937.