893.51/6949: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

1099. As regards the question of Chinese currency the Prime Minister stated in last night’s foreign affairs debate:

“I have been asked a number of questions about particular items such as the handing over of silver in the Concession and support for the Chinese currency. These are questions which are not confined to Tientsin, they are larger questions and they are questions which do not affect only this country. It is perfectly certain therefore that we could not discuss questions of that character without the fullest communication with other countries whose interests are equally involved with our own.”

With reference to the implications which are being made with increasing frequency that it is now the United States’ turn to contribute support to the Chinese dollar (the penultimate paragraph Embassy’s 924, June 30, 10 p.m., and penultimate paragraph Embassy’s 1054, July 24, 5 p.m.76), it is noteworthy that Eden77 asked for assurances “that not only will we not connive in any attempt to weaken the Chinese currency but we shall continue the policy on which we have hitherto been engaged of doing all we can to support the Chinese currency itself”. However, the Parliamentary Under Secretary in winding up the debate merely stated:

“In the matter of the Chinese currency which has been raised notably by my honorable friend the member for Kidderminster (Sir J. Wardlaw-Milne) we are continuing our interest. I would remind the House of Commons that His Majesty’s Government have done more, I think I can safely say, for the Chinese currency, which is a matter of international interest and of interest to the Japanese Government as well, than any other government that I can think of.”

  1. Post, p. 730.
  2. Anthony Eden, British Member of Parliament (Conservative).