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Senator BRANDEGEE. Right in that line, before we leave it, Senator Borah, if it will not interrupt you. I will not interrupt if you prefer to go ahead with what you had in mind.
Senator BORAH. No; go ahead.
Senator BRANDEGEE (continuing). But inasmuch as we were talking about that plan, I understood the President to say last March at the meeting to which Senator Lodge has referred that these four plans were discussed before the conference.
Secretary LANSING. Not before the conference.
Semator BRANDEGEE. And that he said that the American plan was put aside or laid aside-and the British plan was adopted-or the Gen. Smuts's plan—with some modifications. I had assumed that he meant that, there being four plans, they had been before the conference.
Secretary LANSING. No; they never were read before the conference.
Senator BRANDEGEE. They were not read before the conference? Secretary LANSING. No.
Senator BRANDEGEE, Now, what plans were considered by our commission ?
Secretary LANSING. That I do not know. I was not a member.
Senator BRANDEGEE. You say you did not draft a plan? Did you not suggest a plan, or lay something before our commission, whether you drafted it not, in the way of a plan?
Secretary LANSING. Not of a general plan; no.
Senator BRANDEGEE. What did you lay before the commission in the way of suggestions?
Secretary LANSING. I laid before it a general resolution.
Secretary LANSING. It covered the general principles on which the league was to be organized. It was very brief.
Senator BRANDEGEE. Have you that document in existence now?
Senator BRANDEGEE. I should like to have it. What was done with that by our commission ?
Secretary LANSING. That I do not know, sir.
Senator BRANDEGEE. It was not favorably considered, was it? Of course it was not adopted.
Secretary LANSING. No; there was no action taken.
Senator BRANDEGEE. Do you know who drew the plan that Mr. Wilson calls the American plan?
Secretary LANSING. No; I do not.
Senator BRANDEGEE. I understood you to say that you assumed that he drafted it himself.
Secretary LANSING. I did assume so..
Senator BRANDEGEE. Did you never hear that it was drafted by two New York lawyers for him, and taken over there by him?
Secretary LANSING. No; I think that is not true.
Senator BRANDEGEE. And that that plan was destroyed, it was so absurd ?
Secretary LANSING. No; I never heard any such thing.
Senator BRANDEGEE. And that the other plan was got up, afterwards—the one that Mr. Wilson calls the American plan-by other people ?
Secretary LANSING. I saw the American plan about two days after we landed.
Senator BRANDEGEE. Did you study it thoroughly or just glance over it?
Secretary LANSING. The President read it.
Senator BRANDEGEE. How did it impress you? I mean, do you think the present plan is a better plan than the one that the President calls the American plan?
Secretary LANSING. I do not quite catch that.
Senator BRANDEGEE. I do not want you to damn the American plan with faint praise, but I want to know what is your opinion as to the respective merits of the two.
Secretary LANSING. I think it is a decided improvement.
Senator BRANDEGEE. But you do not know who drew the American plan?
Secretary LANSING. I do not.
Senator BRANDEGEE. I have here the New York Sun of yesterday, August 6, 1919, and in the first column on the editorial page there is an editorial entitled “The Facts-President Wilson, give us the facts." I do not ask that the whole editorial be printed in the record, but there is one particular paragraph that interested me.
I do not see the little extract that I expected to find. I find that I have here Wednesday's Times instead of yesterday's, which is what I sent for. Anyway, the gist of that was that it was a dispatch from Paris, quoted from the New York Times, stating substantially that Clemenceau had laid before the committees on treaties of the French Senate and the French Chamber of Deputies a cable from President Wilson requesting him not to make public any of the notes or documents in relation to this treaty. Do you know whether or not such a cable was sent by President Wilson?
Secretary LANSING. No; that was not it, at all.
Secretary LANSING. I say, that is not a true statement of the facts, at all.
Senator BRANDEGEE. Will you be kind enough to state what the fact was, if you can recognize the situation from what I have stated ?
Secretary LANSING. The Senate Chamber in Paris asked Mr. Clemenceau to lay before it the minutes of the proceedings of the commission on the league of nations, and Mr. Clemenceau said that as that was a matter which pertained to other Governments as well as France, he must make inquiry as to whether it was advisable, and he did. He inquired, I think of me in the first instance, and I said that my impression was, in view of the great freedom of debate in the commission, that it would be unwise to lay the minutes before the Senate, as it might cause irritation, but that I would communicate with the President in regard to it, which I did, and the President agreed as to that answer.
Senator BRANDEGEE. Who sent the cable to Clemenceau, you or the President?
Secretary LANSING. I think it was cabled to the peace commission.
Senator BRANDEGEE. When do you expect that all the records pertaining to the peace conference will have arrived in this country?
Secretary LANSING. Oh, I do not know. It will be some time yet. They have to be kept there on account of the other treaties that are being discussed at the present time.
Senator POMERENE. With other powers, you mean?
Senator BRANDEGEE. Then it is uncertain whether we can have access to documents that we would like to see, or not, is it not?
Secretary LANSING. Yes. Of course, if they related to certain matters, we would have to get the permission of the other governments to submit them.
Senator BRANDEGEE. The witness who was here yesterday, Mr. Davis, stated that his records-he was on the financial commission, I think
Secretary LANSING. Yes.
Senator BRANDEGEE. He stated that his records were arriving every day, and he was going to produce some here. Can he not do that without getting permission from the other governments ?
Secretary LANSING. I have no doubt, so far as reports are concerned ? • Senator POMERENE. Let me suggest that as I understand Mr. Davis, not yesterday, but in what he said the day before, told us that he kept, as the other members of the reparation commission kept, copies, and it was these copies to which he referred. That was my understanding about it.
Senator BRANDEGEE. I know; but if he could not produce the originals, of course he could not produce copies, either, without the consent of the other members of the commission, if that is a rule of the commission. It is the information he is to give us, no matter whether it is the first, second, or third copy. If it was impossible for him to produce the originals, he could not produce copies. That is all that I had.
Senator HARDING. I want to ask the Secretary, in view of the character of the league covenant, and all that it seeks to do in open relationship, can you tell me what character of discussion was going on there that makes it inadvisable to let the various nations understand ?
Secretary LANSING. No, I can not tell you, because as I say I was not a member of that commission, and I have never looked at their minutes, and in fact, know nothing about their records. I made that as a general remark applying to everything.
Senator BORAH. Where is Col. House now?
Secretary LANSING. Not to my knowledge. I have had no communication with him.
Senator BORAH. Mr. Secretary, if this subject has been ended, I desire to ask in regard to another feature of the proceedings at Versailles, and to go back a little. If I remember correctly, what was
known as the Lansing-Ishii agreement was made about November 2, 1917 ?
Secretary LANSING. Yes. Senator BORAH. At the time that that agreement was entered into, what knowledge, if any, did the State Department have with reference to the secret agreements between Great Britain and Japan, France and Japan, Russia and Japan, and Italy and Japan?
Secretary LANSING. I should have to look the matter up before I could give you a definite answer in regard to that.
Senator BORAH. Then you likely would be able to state, after investigating the matter, just what information was in the State Department at that time?
Secretary LANSING. Yes.
Senator BORAH. I presume that you had full information with reference to what was known as the 21 demands at that time, had you not?
Secretary LANSING. Yes.
Senator BORAH. If it is permissible to so state, did the discussion turn upon those 21 demands? Did it enter into the discussion at all with reference to your agreement which you entered into ?
Secretary LANSING. Never.
Senator BORAH. In view of those 21 demands, what construction did you place upon the question of Japan's special interest in China ?
Secretary LANSING. Only the special interest that comes from being contiguous to another country whose peace and prosperity were involved.
Senator BORAH. No different special interest from that which we have in Canada ?
Secretary LANSING. No.
Senator BORAH. It was at no time understood by the State Department that the Lansing-Ishii agreement was in any sense an indorsement of the program which Japan had apparently initiated at that time under her 21 demands?
Secretary LANSING. Absolutely not. We were opposed to the 21 demands.
Senator BORAH. And I presume you could also state that it was in no sense an indorsement of anything which has since developed under the secret agreements ?
Secretary LANSING. Oh, no; nothing...
Senator BORAH. If you had known of those secret agreements, would you likely have entered into that agreement with Japan?
Secretary LANSING. I think so.
Senator POMERENE. Senator, in order to make the record entirely clear, you mean the secret agreements between Japan, Great Britain, France and Italy?
Senator BORAH. Yes; I mentioned that just a moment ago.
Senator BORAH. Whatever may be the construction of the LansingIshii agreement in Japan or China, it should not from the standpoint of the State Department be construed in America as indorsing anything in the nature of the program which Japan has under the secret agreement ?
Secretary LANSING. You are quite correct about that. I think I can say, although I would like to refresh my memory, and would be subject to correction later, that one of the very reasons why that Lansing-Ishii agreement was entered into was on account of the 21 demands and the attitude that Japan was taking toward China, in order to secure from Japan a redeclaration of the open-door policy, which she did in that agreement.
Senator BORAH. It would seem then that if the secret agreements had been known to the State Department at that time, the State Department would likely have written that Lansing-Ishii agreement in different terms, would it not?
Secretary LANSING. Well, I do not know. No; I do not see why we should
Senator BORAH. It is a fact that at that time Japan had a secret agreement with those other countries, by which it was understood and agreed that certain territorial interests and certain rights in China should be given her at the close of the war. Now are you not familiar with the fact that as soon as the Lansing-Ishii agreement was made, it was construed in Japan and China, both by the press and semiofficially, to be a tacit indorsement of Japan's program in China ?
Secretary LANSING. In regard to those secret agreements, do you refer to them?
Senator BORAH. Yes; and the 21 demands.
Secretary LANSING. I know it was in Japan. I never knew that it was in China.
Senator BORAH. Did not China issue a statement or a protest, or something in the nature of a protest against the Lansing-Ishii agreement, and was not that brought to the attention of the State Depart
ment, here in Washington will have to fired, Mr. Secretar
Secretary LANSING. I will have to refresh my memory on that.
Senator BORAH. I think you will find, Mr. Secretary, that that is true. Now are you able to state when the secret agreements to which I have referred were first brought to the knowledge of the President, or those two, the secret agreements with Great Britain and Italy?
Secretary LANSING. No; that is a thing I would have to refresh my memory about.
Senator BORAH. Are you able to state whether or not it was before you went to Versailles ?
Secretary LANSING. Oh, yes.
Secretary LANSING. That is, so far as Great Britain is concerned
Senator BORAH. May I suggest, then, Mr. Secretary, that you ascertain for the committee as soon as you can conveniently, just when you learned of these secret agreements? If it has not already occurred to you, I think you will recall, probably, that these secret agreements were published first by the Russian Government, so far as the world was concerned. I do not know how long before that the Department of State had knowledge of them; but so far as the world had any knowledge of them, as I recall, the first knowledge came from Mr. Trotski.
Mr. Secretary, with reference to the settlement of what is known as the Shantung affair, did you take part in the discussion by which that affair was finally adjusted ?