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Secretary LANSING. No.
Senator BORAH. Did any one of the American commission file any statement ?
Secretary LANSING. Gen. Bliss wrote a letter, but it was prior to any settlement.
Senator BORAH. Is that letter available?
Secretary LANSING. That I do not know. It was written to the President.
Senator BORAH. Who signed the letter?
Senator BORAH. Did the letter purport to be written on the part of anyone other than himself?
Secretary LANSING. Yes; on the part of Mr. White and myself.
Senator BORAH. Can you recall in a general way the contents of the letter?
Secretary LANSING. I should not want to, as it was a letter between Gen. Bliss and the President.
Senator BORAH. Is there any copy of it in the State Department?
Secretary LANSING. No; not from me. It is a private communication from Gen. Bliss to the President.
Senator BORAH. Was it in the nature of a protest against what is known as the settlement of the Shantung affair?
Secretary LANSING. No.
Secretary LANSING. The President had conferred with the commissioners in my office in connection with the Japanese situation, and after we had expressed our general views in regard to the matter the President wanted to know if we would communicate them in writing. Gen. Bliss prepared a letter and showed it to Mr. White and myself, and we said that we concurred in it, and there was no reason why we should write separate letters, as we had nothing to add to it. That was some days before the Shantung settlement. It was a matter of advice, as to our advice to the President.
Senator BORAH. Did the advice correspond with what was afterwards accomplished ?
Secretary LANSING. No.
Secretary LANSING. You must ask the President that. He has the letter.
Senator BORAH. Oh, he has it, has he?
Senator BORAH. Did you see a memorandum which was filed by the experts who were advising the commission with reference to fareastern affairs, concerning the attempt of the Japanese delegates to control the Chinese settlement and to intimidate the Chinese representatives with reference to Shantung?
Secretary LANSING. Well, I would not say that I saw such a memorandum exactly as you describe it, because we had numerous memoranda on the subject.
Senator BORAH. Was there a memorandum which partook in its general nature of a description or an account of the action of the Japanese delegates toward the Chinese delegates with reference to Siantung?
Secretary LANSING. I have no recollection of such a memorandum.
Senator HARDING. Do you recall, Mr. Secretary, how long a time int r vened between the reaching of the Shantung decision and the making public of that decision?
Secretary LANSING. No; I am afraid I do not, Mr. Senator.
Senator HARDING. Was there an unusual lapse of time between the Shantung agreement and the bulletin to the public of the agreement?
Secretary LANSING. No, because my recollection is-and, of course, this is purely recollection—that the decision was reached about May 1; that having been reached by the council of the heads of States, it was sent to the drafting committee to be incorporated in the treaty, and that on the 7th of May the treaty was delivered to the Germans.
Senator WILLIAMS. So that it was about a week?
Secretary LANSING. About a week from the time the council decided it, I should say. Of course, it is pretty hard to carry dates of that sort in your mind with accuracy:
Senator HARDING. There was a longer lapse of time between reaching the Shantung decision and making it public than related to most other agreements, was there not?
Secretary LANSING. Oh, no, a shorter time.
Senator "Borah. Mr. Secretary, one question which I omitted to ask you in regard to the Lansing-Ishii agreement. I wish you state somewhat at length or fully the construction which the State Department placed and now places upon the Lansing-Ishii agreement with reference to the phrase "special interest in China.”
Secretary LANSING. I would prefer to be allowed to make a full statement in regard to that later.
Senator BORAH. Very well. That is satisfactory. At the time that China broke off her diplomatic relations with Germany were any assurances given to China, either directly or indirectly through the American minister at Pekin, with reference to the United States taking an interest in Chinese affairs at Versailles and seeing that her rights were protected ?
Secretary LANSING. I can not recall, sir.
Senator Borah. The record of that would be in the State Department if any such instructions were sent?
Secretary LANSING. Oh, yes.
Senator BORAH. I wish you would make a note of that, and also make a note of the fact as to whether or not that assurance was restated at the time that China actually declared war against Germany. Those are all the questions I desire to ask until we get these other facts.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary, a question in conneetion with Japan. Has there ever been any note or intimation-I will not undertake to describe the form-has there been any note or intimation of any sort from Japan that she would regard any attempt on the part of the United States or its nationals to lend money to China as interfering with Japan there, tending to create disturbance, and that it might be brought up under article 15 of the league?
Secretary LANSING. I never heard of such a thing.
The CHAIRMAN. I think it would be as well, as it was up here and Senator Brandegee did not have the paper which he now has, to quote the dispatch which was taken from the New York Times, which says:
Paris, August 1.-Among the documents received by the conference commission is a note from Premier Clemenceau, transmitting a dispatch from President Wilson asking Clemenceau to postpone the publication of the notes of the peace-conference deliberations.
Senator Knox. It is true, it it not, Mr. Secretary, that under the demands that were made upon China by Japan in 1915, called commonly the 21 demands, one of the demands was that if China needed money for the building of railroads and the development of her resources, she must first apply to Japan ?
Secretary LANSING. Yes.
Senator Knox. Might not that raise a question that would go to the league of nations?
Secretary LANSING. You know she modified those 21 demands? Senator Knox. Did she modify that particular one?
Secretary LANSING. Yes; that is my recollection. I should like to make full report on the 21 demands.
Senator Knox. There was only one other question I wanted to ask you about the Lansing-Ishii agreement. I have not looked at it lately, but as I recollect it the claim of Japan in that agreement, which you acknowledge, is for a special interest throughout China entirely.
Secretary Lansing. Yes.
Senator Knox. Had not her previous claims of special interest been limited to Manchuria?
Secretary LANSING. This made no distinction, except that it was stated that it was on account of the contiguity of territory, and that would naturally apply to Manchuria.
Senator Knox. My recollection is that as far back as 1912 Japan formulated and presented a claim of special interest, practically in the language of the Lansing-Ishii agreement, except that she limited her special interest to Manchuria. She did not present it as to other portions of continental China. Have you any recollection about that?
Secretary LANSING. No; I have not.
Senator New. Mr. Chairman, I should like to ask a question or two, following up Senator Borah's line of inquiry.
The CHAIRMAN. Senator New, Mr. Secretary.
Senator New. Mr. Secretary, do you know when China learned of the secret agreements between Great Britain, Russia, France, Italy, and Japan ?
Secretary LANSING. No, sir. Senator New. Or any of them? Secretary LANSING. I never heard. Senator New. Did China at any time make any appeal to the United States with reference to the protection of her territorial interests at the time of the peace conference, asking for the good offices of the United States ?
Secretary LANSING. I do not think there was anything formal. Of course China's delegates saw the delegates of the United States and discussed the matter with them.
Senator New. There was a discussion?
Secretary LANSING. I do not want to call it an appeal. It was a discussion of the question, just in the same way that the Japanese delegates discussed the question.
Senator New. How did the United States meet that appeal ?
Secretary LANSING. The United States could act only as a body, or in the person of the President. I do not know how the President met it. All I know is the informal nature of the conferences between delegates of the American commission and of the Chinese commission which took place.
Senator NEW. Did the United States seek to influence China to enter the war on the side of the Allies ?
Secretary LANSING. I would like to make a report on that too. I can not recall just exactly what the course was, and I am afraid that I might make a statement that would not be in exact accordance with the facts.
Senator New. I wish you would, Mr. Secretary.
Senator HARDING. We did ask all neutral nations to break relations with Germany, did we not?
Secretary LANSING. Yes.
Senator New. You do not know, then, whether the President or the American envoys at any time sought to obtain from Japan a guarantee to restore to China the Province of Shantung?
Secretary LANSING. I know there was such an effort made.
Senator New. Are you at liberty to state the character and conditions of it?
Secretary LANSING. No; I am not, because it was made entirely by the President.
Senator New. But it was made ?
Senator WILLIAMS. I did not quite understand what the effort was to which Senator New referred.
Senator New. An effort to obtain from Japan a guaranty to return to China the Shantung Province and territory that was held by Germany prior to the war.
Senator WILLIAMS. An effort by the United States, do you mean? Senator New. Yes.
Senator HITCHCOCK. And the answer was that the President had made such an effort.
Secretary LANSING. Yes. I do not wish to convey by that word "effort" the idea that there was a failure to do so.
Senator New. I understand; but it is understood that you will endeavor to enlarge upon that a little ?
Secretary LANSING. No; I can not do that. That is a matter with which the President alone had to do.
Senator HARDING. Do you mean to say, Mr. Secretary, that the effort was not a failure ?
Secretary LANSING. I said I could not pass upon that on account of its being a matter entirely with the President, but I did not wish to convey the impression that might be gathered from the word "effort."
Senator New. You do know that, as a matter of fact, up to this time no such guaranty has been given? That is correct, is it not?
Secretary LANSING. Well, there is a statement in the morning papers, that is all.
Senator New. That informal statement of Uchida?
Senator Moses. There were two statements in the morning paper as I read them, one from the leader of the opposition in the Japanese Diet, which was exactly opposite to the Uchida statement.
Secretary LANSING. One is the statement of the Japanese Government and the other is not.
Senator Moses. Unless the opposition becomes the majority.
Senator New. Now, Mr. Secretary, I would like to ask a question along a somewhat different line. It is now an admitted fact that there were secret engagements between some of our allies of which the United States was ignorant. Do you know-are there to your knowledge-any other secret agreements between Great Britain, France, and Japan regarding Asia ?
Secretary LANSING. Regarding Asia?
Senator New. Are there any agreements between them the details of which are not known to the United States ?
Secretary LANSING. I do not think so. I do not know.
Senator New. Have you reason to believe that there are no such agreements ?
Secretary LANSING. I have reason to believe that there are none.
Senator New. Would you mind stating what those reasons are? Have you any assurance that there are no such agreements ? · Secretary LANSING. I have no assurance except the fact that in connection with the matter of financing China we are working in entire harmony with Great Britain and France.
Senator New. Then if it should develop hereafter that there are such agreements you would consider that you had been misled.
Secretary LANSING. Yes.
Senator WILLIAMS. Do you mean by that secret agreements made before we entered into the war or afterwards?