Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hamilton)
The French Ambassador6 called at his request. He said that he had received word from his Government that the French Ambassador in China was of the opinion that the French contingent which had been landed at Kulangsu should not be withdrawn until some satisfactory adjustment of the local situation had taken place and that the French Foreign Office apparently had the same view as the French Ambassador in China. He asked me what our attitude in the matter was. I replied that the contingent of American marines and sailors had been landed at Kulangsu pursuant to the decision of the senior American naval officer at that place in line with general standing instructions; that the Commander in Chief of the American Asiatic Fleet7 had approved the action taken by the local commander; and that the Department had sent certain general instructions in regard to the situation at Kulangsu but had not issued any express instructions with regard to the question of withdrawing the American contingent which was now ashore. I told the Ambassador that our latest information from Amoy was contained in a telegram from our Consul there which we had received on Saturday in which the Consul reported that discussions with the Japanese had been proceeding rather favorably but that at the last meeting the Japanese Consul General had renewed certain requests which in the opinion of the others concerned were unreasonable and that the meeting had broken up.