893.102 Tientsin/246: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Tientsin (Caldwell)

31. Tientsin’s 89, June 12, 4 p.m., and Tokyo’s 267, June 10, 3 p.m.

1.
On June 13 the Counselor of the British Embassy64 here called at the Department under instruction from his Government; referred to the approach made on June 10 by the American Chargé at Tokyo to the Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and to the Vice Minister’s comment that the Consul General at Tientsin enjoyed the confidence of both sides and that it would be helpful if he could use his good offices; and said that the British Foreign Office would be glad if the Department could see its way clear to instructing the American Consul General at Tientsin to extend his good offices.
2.
The Department is informing the British Embassy here that on June 12 the American Consul General at Tientsin telegraphed that he had used and would continue to use his good offices whenever opportunity should offer, without taking sides in the dispute between the British and the Japanese, toward effecting a settlement of their dispute, the attitude and action of the Consul General being based primarily on a desire to avert or at least to ameliorate the inconveniences and losses to American interests; that the Consul General reported [Page 178] that he was convinced that at the present time nothing could be accomplished at Tientsin in the way of a settlement of the difficulties; but that the Department was telegraphing the Consul General approving the action which he had taken and the attitude expressed by him and was instructing the Consul General to continue to hold himself in readiness, if and when an approach by appropriate British and Japanese officials at Tientsin is made to him, informally to use his good offices toward bringing representatives of the British and Japanese into friendly discussions with a view to peaceful adjustment of the question at issue. The Department is informing the British Embassy further that the American Consul General at Tientsin is being instructed to hold himself aloof from any action relating to the merits of the question at issue between the British and the Japanese authorities and that the Department is of the opinion that in so far as any action in the nature of use of good offices by the American Consul General at Tientsin is concerned such action should be regarded as continuance of action which the American Consul General had already been taking in a local situation and should not be regarded as action of a formal character between or among governments as such.
3.
Department desires that the American Consul General at Tientsin be guided by the foregoing.
4.
Department desires that the American Chargé at Tokyo (a) inform the British Ambassador at Tokyo orally of the substance of the instructions which have been issued to Tientsin and, provided the Chargé and the British Ambassador perceive no objection, (b) similarly inform the Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Peiping please repeat to Tokyo.

Repeated to Peiping and Chungking.

Hull
  1. V. A. L. Mallet.