Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hamilton) of a Conversation With the First Secretary of the French Embassy (Gaucheron)

Mr. Gaucheron called by appointment to see Mr. Hornbeck. Inasmuch as Mr. Hornbeck was in conference in the Secretary’s office, Mr. Gaucheron asked to see Mr. Hamilton. Mr. Gaucheron told Mr. Hamilton that he had called to give the Department more precise information in regard to the substance of a telegram which the French Embassy had received from the French Foreign Office in regard to the Sino-Japanese situation. (Presumably Mr. Gaucheron had in mind information communicated by Mr. Henry72 by telephone to Mr. Hornbeck early in the morning, which information was to the effect that the French Government had instructed its Ambassadors in China and in Japan to express to the appropriate Chinese and Japanese authorities concern in regard to the situation.) Mr. Gaucheron said that the telegraphic information which the French Embassy had received from the French Foreign Office was to the effect that the French Ambassador in China had communicated to the French Foreign Office a suggestion that it might be helpful should the French, British, and American representatives at Tokyo and at Nanking approach the appropriate Japanese and Chinese authorities and counsel moderation; that the French Foreign Office was very favorable in principle to such a step and had authorized the French Ambassadors [Page 152]in China and in Japan to be prepared to make such an approach along with the British and American representatives at Nanking and at Tokyo.

Mr. Gaucheron stated also that the French Foreign Office’s cable to the French Embassy here set forth the substance of statements made by the Japanese Ambassador in Paris to the French Foreign Secretary. Mr. Gaucheron then outlined this information, which is substantially the same as that given in the first paragraph of London’s telegram No. 466, July 13, 7 p.m.73

Mr. Gaucheron inquired whether the information given us by the Japanese Ambassador was in general along these lines. Mr. Hamilton replied that the Japanese Ambassador had informed us of the Japanese Government’s version of the fighting which had occurred near Peiping but that the Japanese Ambassador had not made any statement to us in regard to Japan abandoning its position in South China and concentrating in the North.

  1. Jules Henry, French Chargé d’Affaires.
  2. Post, p. 155.