893.01 Provisional/18

The Department of State to the British Embassy


The Government of the United States appreciates the action of the British Embassy in communicating in its aide-mémoire of December 27, 1937,11 the views of the French Government in regard to the desirability of maintaining diplomatic representation in Peiping and the decision of the British Government not to withdraw for the present their diplomatic staffs and Embassy guards from north China.

The Government of the United States has given attentive consideration to the importance attached by the British and French Governments to prior consultation before taking such a step and to the hope that the United States Government will agree that all three governments should concert together before any action is taken affecting their Embassies and Embassy guards in the event that this may be called [Page 4] for by subsequent developments in north China. The Government of the United States in its aide-mémoire of December 18, 1937,12 has already expressed its desire to continue to keep in close touch with the British Government in regard to these matters and is pleased to inform the British Embassy that this Government is likewise prepared to maintain close touch with the French Government. It is this Government’s belief, however, that this expression of attitude and desire should be regarded as relating to exchange of information and consultation rather than as constituting an agreement to act or to refrain from action in concert.