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Senator SWANSON. It is perfectly agreeable to me.
Senator JOHNSON of California. I asked a general question, and we have not advanced very far on it. I ask that no particular rule be pursued except that which the committee deem appropriate, but I would be glad if the witness could proceed with his statement under such rule as may be prescribed by the committee.
Mr. MILLARD. I merely brought that in because I think it is important to understand in relation to this Shantung situation to-day the different steps by which this Shantung situation has arisen.
Senator JOHNSON of California. Now, if you will proceed historically and come down to the Shantung decision, describe what it was, its effect upon China, upon Japan, and upon our country.
Mr. MILLARD, I think it is pertinent in this connection to point out that after the promulgation of what was termed the Hay doctrine, after Mr. Hay had gotten this communication from the German Government, and then had subsequently got the assent of the other Governments to the thing in principle, the whole thing constituted a general international understanding known as the Hay doctrine.
Various Governments, however, continued among themselves to make what we now have a new phrase for, “regional understandings” regarding China. There exists at the present time in the neighborhood of 20 known regional understandings affecting China, and others are suspected to exist. For instance, among the regional understandings, soon after Germany's acquisition of Shantung there was a regional understanding between the British and German Governments whereby Great Britain in effect recognized Germany's superior position or sphere in Shantung. That agreement held presumably up until the abrogation by declaration of war in 1914 of all agreements between the British and German Governments. And then various other trades were made in the Far East, regional understandings or collateral trades on the side among the various nations to reduce the balance, due to Germany's acquisition of that position there.
One of the very pertinent things in that connection was the AngloJapanese alliance. There is very good authority for the statement that the Anglo-Japanese alliance was first proposed by Germany in the form of a tri-partite alliance Germany, Japan, and Great Britain. Germany approached the Japanese Government first, and the Japanese Government evidently took the thing under favorable consideration, and approached the British Government. The British Government at that time seemed to have been animated by a different hypothesis, and they did not want any alignment in the Far East between Germany and Japan; so finally they succeeded in sidetracking that, and the alliance was made between Japan and Great Britain solely, and excluding Germany. I mention that for the bearing that Germany was gradually being pushed into a position off by herself, and in my mind those were among the contributing causes that finally led to this clash in 1914. One thing led to another. You built up and kept building up combinations, a wall, and Germany was trying to break out in different directions.
I have brought in that question of regional understandings and their existence because you will see the pertinency of that later.
We come along now up to the time of the beginning of the great war. There were different demonstrations in the interim there of the application of these various regional understandings, operating, you may say, inside of the Hay doctrine, and antagonistic to it. Mr. Knox's efforts to neutralize the railways of Manchuria constituted one strong demonstration of the fact that there were combinations inside of combinations there, regional understandings of powers among themselves, which, when it came to a showdown, superseded their acquiescence to the Hay doctrine.
When the Great War broke out suddenly, Japan almost immediately took the occasion to send an ultimatum to Germany, practically demanding that she get out of Shantung, to which Germany never replied, and that resulted in a declaration of war and the Japanese expedition which captured the port of Tsingtau. China made efforts to preserve her neutrality. She made efforts in which the American legation at Peking took some part, but the time was very short. The proposal that Tsingtau be neutralized, that it be turned over to China, and various ways to keep China from being involved in the thing were proposed. Japan did not want any of those things. She moved quickly, and proceeded to go over there and land her troops. In her occupation of the Province she immediately, from the beginning, went further than Germany had ever done. She did not confine her military operations to the leased German territory at all. She overran the whole Province almost immediately; seized the whole railway up to the capital of the Province over its entire length, established her troops and police clear outside the railway, and various other parts; and in that way she made a rapid military penetration of this entire Province, which condition exists to the present day.
China's various efforts to prevent that were unavailing; and the next move in that game--the other powers were preoccupied with the desperate struggle in Europe, and unable to interpose any effective action in the Far East-so Japan came along in 1915 with her 21 demands, which she sought first to impose upon China by secrecy. When that was impossible, the Chinese realized the character of the demands, and they happened to have quite a strong man as President of China at that time, Yuen Che Kai, a strong, able man. He communicated it to other governments. The thing was brought out into the light, and raised such an outcry that although Japan persisted in pressing the demands, and China was finally compelled to yield, they were in somewhat modified form over the form in which they had been originally presented. That was in 1915. However, the United States Government took an official exception to that 1915 treaty, which is all in the record.
Senator POMERENE. You say the United States Government took an exception?
Mr. MILLARD. Took an exception; yes, sir. The United States Government took an official exception, which is published, and which is included in that book; and the Chinese Government took exception also by stating that it signed under compulsion.
From the standpoint of the United States, the next important official maneuver, if you may call it that, was the Lansing-Ishii agreement. Oh, no; let me go back a little.
After our Government severed diplomatic relations with Germany, which I believe was early in February, 1917, we approached the Chinese Government officially. I was in Peking at the time. The United States Government officially, through the American minister at Peking, approached the Chinese Government with an invitation and advice that we join with her in severing diplomatic relations with Germany. That was very strongly urged upon the Chinese Government, and for several days there was a very strong diplomatic fight raised in Peking, the German and Austrian legations, of course, opposing it, and the Japanese legation opposing it very strongly, but in a secret way. The British, French, and Russian legations were sympathetic to the proposal, and such influence as they had was exerted in favor of China accepting the American invitation. China did. Well, at that time China was favorably inclined to this proposal. I might say that on two previous occasions China had offered to join the Allies. Both times she had been prevented by the objections of Japan. Japan would not let her come in. Her influence with the other allied powers was so strong that China was not allowed to join the Allies.
The result was that when we came along and urged China to join with us—we had not at that time declared war on Germany, but we urged her to take the preliminary step and join us in severing diplomatic relations with Germany, which every one felt would be a prelude to war-China was dubious, having been repulsed twice in efforts to join the allies by the Japanese objections; and having knowledge that at that moment the Japanese legation and all the Japanese influences at Peking were fighting bitterly the proposal that China act upon the advice of the United States, the Chinese Government wanted certain assurances. That is, they wanted to know where they would get off. They said: “Suppose we do follow your advice and come in: Now, we want certain assurances. We would like to have definite assurances of the Allies that our territorial integrity will be protected in the peace settlement.” An effort was made by the Chinese Government at that time to get such assurances from the French and British Governments. The French and British legations at Peking, while they urged China to follow the advice of the United States, communicated with their Governments, and they could not give any definite assurances; but they told the Chinese Government-tnat is, the British minister and the French minister to Peking told the Chinese Government_“You come on in; you follow along with the United States, and come on in, and we are quite sure you will be taken care of.”
The thing hung fire for two or three days just on that point, China quite willing to come in, but saying: “No; tell us just exactly, will you, if we come in, will you guarantee our territorial integrity?" They finally, when they got that kind of a negative reply from the British and French Governments, went after Dr. Reinsch, and said, “Well, at least the American Government can say that you will support us in protecting our territorial integrity.” Now, I have this account from Dr. Reinsch, the American minister at PekingDr. Paul Reinsch.
It happened that just at that moment there was a break in the Pacific cable, and for several days Dr. Reinsch was out of cable communication with the State Department. It was very urgent, and the thing had to be concluded quickly, or everyone there thought that it should be concluded quickly, because they felt that if they did not get the Chinese to act promptly the various Japanese intrigues would get to work, and they would succeed possibly in preventing China from taking any action. They were holding almost hourly sessions there for two or three days. Two or three times a day Dr. Reinsch was in consultation with the Chinese Premier, Tuen Chi Jui, and Li-Un-Hung, the President at that time—Gen. Li-Un-Hung. They wanted definite assurances. Dr. Reinsch said: “The cable is interrupted, and I can not communicate with my government at this moment, but I feel justified in telling you verbally my opinion that in the event that you follow the advice of the United States now and sever displomatic relations with Germany, and in the event that that leads us into war with Germany, you can count upon the diplomatic support of the United States in seeing that China's rights are protected in the peace settlement.” The result of these negotiations was that China did take that action, and, as the document shows, upon the advice of the United States, severed diplomatic relations with Germany. That eventually brought China into the war as an enemy of Germany.
The next important event in this connection was the signing of the so-called Lansing-Ishii agreement, which occurred here in Washington, signed on the 2d of November, 1917. Meanwhile, both the United States and China had declared war on Germany.
The Lansing-Ishii agreement followed the general lines of previous statements of the United States regarding China—the socalled Hay doctrine formula, which had been repeated now in eight or nine international agreements of one kind or another, which had been repeated in the Root-Takahira agreement signed in 1907; that is, guaranteeing the territorial integrity of China, and the “open door”; but it was significant in that it contained in its preliminary paragraphs a recognition of Japan's special position relating to China. That agreement was made, the negotiations were conducted, without China being informed, without consulting China in any way. China first learned of it when it was published. I might say in that connection that it was given premature publication at Peking by Japan. As the document itself shows, it was signed on the 2d of November, 1917. By a sort of general agreement, the two Governments were to give it simultaneous publication on November 7 at a stated hour—to give it simultaneous publication in Tokio and in Washington. However, as we know now, I think it was two days, even, before the thing was signed—it was either October 31 or October 30—that the contents of the agreement were communicated to the Russian Government by Japan through the Russian ambassador at Tokio.
As I say, it was to have been given simultaneous publication on the 7th of November. On the 4th of November-and meanwhile our Government had not even informed our embassy at Tokyo or our legation at Peking of this matter at all-on the 4th of November the Japanese minister at Peking officially informed the Wei Chow Pou—that is, the Chinese Foreign Office-of the signing of the Lansing-Ishii agreement, and provided them with a text in Japanese and Chinese. In those texts in Japanese and Chinese, the phrase “special position"
was translated in a way to amount to a recognition of Japan's paramountcy in China. The Chinese Government was naturally dumfounded at this thing, and immediately went to the American legation.
Now, if you know anything of the diplomatic atmosphere of Peking under those circumstances, the way that would look to the Chinese was this: Japan comes and tells them of this thing under the circumstances, which gives it the circumstantial appearance that “Now, we are paramount here, and we inform you about this, and if you do not believe us go up and ask the American legation." They went over to the American legation and inquired, and the American legation had never heard of it, of course. It immediately cabled for information. Meanwhile, through Japanese sources at Peking, and Chinese sources, too—they were bound to blab a thing like that; it completely flustered them—the Chinese Government and the Chinese Foreign Office and the newspaper men there in Peking got hold of it, and the result was a little telegram carried by the Associated Press and Reuter's New Service all over the world, to the effect that this had been signed, and the news was given out at Peking.
I was in New York when I read that short telegram in the papers, and then our Government, of course, cabled the text immediately to the minister at Peking, to the legation at Peking, and we then communicated it to the Chinese Government; but our translation of the term "special position" differed very materially, when translated into Chinese, from the way that Japan had translated it in the original text communicated by Japan. That led to some little diplomatic controversy there at Peking, but we stuck to our text, and Japan sticks to hers, and so that matter stands to this day, so far as I know; the Chinese having two texts of this thing in their Foreign Office, one the first one communicated by Japan in Japanese and Chinese, in which the term “special position” is translated into the equivalant of paramountcy, and our text, which translates into the interpretation which Mr. Lansing exhibited to you in his examination the other day, which, so far as I know, has been the first official delineation of the American position on the subject. Meanwhile it has stood in China's eyes in that obscure position, with all of the circumstantial indications favoring the Japanese interpretation.
Moreover, Japan went ahead and acted on her interpretation. From that time she assumed a position of paramountcy in relation to China. She went ahead and began the establishment of civil government over Shantung Province. She extended her civil government régime in Manchuria. She began actually to acquire the possessions and the position of a sovereign in those parts of China where she had obtained a foothold by the methods I have indicated. She went on, and she obtained, through that influence, a great influence at Peking. The Chinese Government, you might say, threw up their hands and said: “Well, America will not support us; they have recognized Japan's paramountcy; we have got to do the best we can."
Japan bribed several high Chinese officials up there, and began to press for other secret agreements and things. However, the Chinese Government resisted. They did obtain a so-called supplementary agreement to the 1915 agreement, signed, I believe, in September, 1918; but they could not get that signed at Peking. They seemed to have reached the Chinese minister over in Tokio by the money