The Assistant Secretary of State (Wilson) to the Secretary of State1
Mr. Secretary: Mr. Mallet, of the British Embassy, called this morning and stated that he was making an entirely unofficial visit, in order to clarify a matter in which he thought his Government might perhaps have gotten a wrong slant.
He stated that the Chinese Ambassador at London informed the Foreign Office that the Chinese Ambassador here2 had been informed by you as follows:
“America believes in and stands for the sanctity of treaties. If His Majesty’s Government contemplate taking any action either alone or with other powers with a view to the maintenance of the sanctity of treaties the United States Government would be glad to associate itself with them.”
Mallet himself was skeptical as to whether you had used this phraseology.
I told him that I thought it unlikely that you had issued a blank check, that I readily believed that you had declared that America believes in and stands for the sanctity of treaties and that any step by Great Britain or other powers for the maintenance of the sanctity of [Page 510] treaties would meet with your sympathetic consideration, but that beyond this I did not believe you had gone.
If I have given Mr. Mallet a correct impression, no further action is necessary.