The Consul at Geneva (Everett) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 16—3:10 p.m.]
255. Consulate’s 247, July 24, 11 a.m. During the course of a conversation today Hoo told me that the Chinese Government was still holding in abeyance the question of appealing to the League. From the beginning of the present conflict his Government had desired to refrain from any action here which might render more difficult a settlement with the Japanese on a peaceful basis particularly since the Chinese had the impression that the Japanese people and the Civil Government were not enthusiastic about the army’s policy. China desired to do nothing to weaken the position of the Civil Government. From the present trend of events however Hoo felt that the Japanese were determined to force the issue. The Chinese Government would therefore probably appeal to the League but he did not know exactly when and in what form.
Hoo does not seem to have a clearly defined idea as to what advantages China might obtain from recourse to the League. He does not however expect any direct or immediate aid from the League or from the powers but hopes that aid would eventually come in some way if China can resist long enough to weaken the Japanese economically and financially. The duration and effectiveness of Chinese resistance he says would depend very largely on the assurances for China to obtain arms. He fears however that even if the powers should continue to ship arms to China the Japanese would eventually declare a blockade of Chinese ports. Russia would supply arms but he felt that in offering them the Soviets would attach political conditions. China might be obliged to accept such conditions as a desperate last resort if she were unable to obtain arms or other assistance from the other powers.