893.102 Tientsin/341: Telegram

Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hamilton) of a Conversation With the First Secretary of the Chinese Embassy (Tsui)

Mr. Tsui called at his request. He said that the Ambassador was away; that the Embassy had received instructions from the Chinese Government to the effect that in the opinion of the Chinese Government the Tientsin situation was not an isolated, local incident and was not a question merely of the extradition of four Chinese prisoners; that upon the outcome of the Tientsin situation depended the future of the International Settlement at Shanghai and settlements and concessions at other places; that the Chinese Government understood that the British Government would resist Japanese endeavors in reference to the British Concession at Tientsin; that in this situation the Chinese Government thought that the influence of the American Government was a very important factor and that if the American Government would make its position clear in resisting the Japanese objective, the Tientsin situation would be very easily adjusted.70 I expressed doubt whether the Tientsin situation could be readily adjusted but said that I would make note of the observations of the Chinese Government as communicated by Mr. Tsui and I assured him that the Department was endeavoring to follow all phases of the Tientsin situation.

Mr. Tsui then referred to press reports of yesterday to the effect that the Secretary had stated at his press conference that he was [Page 184] not informed of any proposal for an international tribunal on which the American Government would be represented to mediate the Tientsin affair. Mr. Tsui asked whether we had any additional comment on that point which we could make today. I said that the press stories were based on some confusion; that I understood that the British, either from London or in the Far East, had suggested that the question whether there was a prima facie case against the four Chinese whom the British had refused to turn over at Tientsin might be referred for investigation to a special group of three individuals; that I understood from the press that the Japanese had declined to accept such a suggestion; and that so far as I knew no question had been raised of the American Government having an official representative on such a special investigating group.

M[axwell] M. H[amilton]
  1. See telegram No. 399, June 19, 9 a.m., from the Ambassador in China, vol. iii, p. 186.