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China there. That was the situation I found when I got to Paris. I went over to see Dr. Kou immediately, and one of the first things he said to me was, “Do you know of the secret Shantung agreements ?” I said, “I know nothing about them except that I saw a short telegram in one of the New York papers from Paris indicating that something of the facts had been disclosed.” I said, “Is it a fact ?” He said, “Yes, we have the texts, but of course the texts are confidential at present.” He gave me a synopsis of their contents, and I as rapidly as I could posted myself up on the situation of what had transpired before I had arrived at Paris, and from that time on I could follow the developments with more or less intelligence. I was constantly in touch with the experts attached to our commission, the experts on the far eastern question. I had been personally acquainted with all of them for many years. I saw them all almost daily.
Senator JOHNSON of California. State their names, will you ?
Mr. MILLARD. The official ones were Dr. E. T. Williams and Prof. Hornbeck, who ranked over there as a captain; and at different times certain naval and military officers were brought into the thing on those angles.
I will say in that connection that on several occasions, when I would prepare little memoranda for the advice and information of the Chinese on certain developments from Japan, I would always take a copy over and give it to our own experts on the commission for their information. The whole thing, as far as China was concerned at Paris, was conducted with the greatest intimacy with the American delegation. Every move that China made was immediately communicated to the American commission.
Every move that any foreign advisor of China made, she immediately communicated to the American experts. Of course none or us could tell whether they went on higher up or whether they did not. We turned them in for the information of Prof. Williams and Prof. Hornbeck. I had various conversations with Dr. Morrison, whom I had known for twenty years, and who probably of all foreigners knows more about the politics and conditions of the Far East than any man, because he is a methodical man and has kept his notes for years, and he indexes them and files them. He is simply a walking encyclopedia of the politics of China of the last 30 years.
Senator JOHNSON of California. Where is he now?
Mr. MILLARD. He is in England now, I believe. At that time he was sick, and his wife had to come over and take him to England. He became ill so he took very little part in matters after I arrived there on account of his illness. But I went up and had several talks with Dr. Morrison about the situation, because he particularly was in touch with the British end of it, being a British subject, and I found that he was very doubtful as to what England was, and he felt very gloomy about the situation. He told me that he was afraid that the sense of the French and British Governments was to make the Shantung agreement stick. I found that our own experts were very much mystified by the official attitude regarding China of the British and French Governments, particularly of the British. They would go over and talk to the men who held corresponding positions to them, and the Far East experts of the British Commission, and they could not fathom—they would know how these men stood-but back of that there was the superior policy of the Government. One thing accumulated after another, and they felt that the British and French were against them, which turned out afterwards to be the case.
The situation drifted along in that position and became sidetracked. China meanwhile discovered the psychology of the situation and acting upon the advice of a number of those whose opinions were asked, she interposed a proposal to compromise the matter which opened a way out.
Senator POMERENE. China did ? Mr. MILLARD. China did. It had developed by that time pretty concisely the attitude of the different nations. The attitude of Great Britain and France was that they would have to stand by these secret agreements unless the United States somehow or other persuaded Japan to recede. Japan was saying “We insist upon Germany ceding her possession there to us, because we have promised to restore it to China, and we want to do that in our own way, and any other solution would indicate to the people that they do not take our word for it, and would dishonor us, and so forth, and so on." China proposed a compromise by way of getting around the difficulty. That proposal was made on April 23, in writing to the council of four, and it was in four points. I quote now the sense of it from memory.
The first part was that China would consent to have the treaty of peace cede the German rights in Shantung direct to Japan, provided the other members of the council of four would be, you might say, cotrustees for the eventual turning over of it to China, or a league of nations or whatever body should be organized to carry out these processes.
Japan had made a great deal over there of the enormous expense · she had been to in capturing Shantung and driving Germany out of the Far East. China's second proposal to compromise was that she would reimburse Japan for those expenses.
Japan had gotten in the 1918 agreement,I have described how she obtained it—a special concession that she was to reserve to herself Tsing Tau, which included railway tunnels, docks, water front, and the whole port machinery. China proposed that during such period when other foreign residential conditions exist in China, Tsing Tau be made an international port.
And the fourth one was merely that Japan would also in the treaty record a definite promise to restore and evacuate Shantung and restore Tsing Tau within a certain specific time. As I say, that proposal was communicated in writing on April 23 by the Chinese delegation to the council of four. Before the decision was made it was known that it was coming up for decision very shortly. Meanwhile all along China had been pressing for a consideration of this thing. She had presented her case in print and in various ways had been pressing to get the thing out of the way. Japan had been retarding it. That compromise was taken under advisement as I understand it by the council of four but Japan objected and succeeded in defeating it..
I do not know what her objection was based on, but it is interesting now to recall that she did reject that proposal, in view of the state, ments that they are making now that she is proposing to interna
tionalize Tsing Tau, which means that she is proposing to hold the kernel of the nut and turn over the shell, and various other claims which she is making now.
It is interesting to put into the record the fact that she was instrumental in rejecting the proposed compromise of the Chinese Government, which would seem to an impartial mind to have met the situation fully, provided Japan has any real intention of getting out of Shantung.
After this decision was announced the Chinese were naturally very much disappointed. The President's reasons were given to them, that he was forced to make this decision because of the uncompromising attitude taken by Japan, which amounted virtually to a threat to bolt the conference and to refuse to join the league of nations. The President was afraid of the general effect upon the world of that thing happening. Of course, I may say here that the President seems to have been about the only one of the powers that seemed to think that Japan's threat was more than a pure bluff. But at any rate he did not think so. He apprehended that that might take place, and he acted accordingly, and he told the Chinese-or rather he did not tell them personally, but sent them word—that he felt that from the oral promise that had been obtained before the Council of Four from Japan, taken in conjunction with the relief which China might obtain from the league of nations, China could eventually get justice by that method.
To that the Chinese delegation responded in substance as follows: In the first place the league of nations had no existence, and in the second place, that if it was organized, its power and authority were problematical. In the third place, that it was not logical to assume that a league of nations, adopted by the same vote and in conjunction with the treaty of peace, would design to reverse the provisions of that treaty. In the fourth place, that the real ruling power, the supreme council, of the league, would be constituted by the same nations as made the Shantung decision in the council of four.
Senator BORAH. You say this was the Chinese reply?
Mr. MILLARD. Yes. And in the fifth place, that as near as China could make out, it was only the weak nations that were asked to depend for justice upon the league, for the strong powers were taking every other outside precaution to protect their interests.
However the decision had been made, and China's pleas from that on were in the nature of doing what she could to amend or better herself in that position. She made various requests for interviews with the President and others. I remained in Paris several weeks longer and China had not seen the President up to that time, but China's representatives were subsequently received by him, and they were received by Mr. Balfour and the French representative, and they gave the information that they found they had been bound by the secret agreements and that Japan had made oral promises which they felt Japan intended to carry out.
And then this happened after I left Paris; but I have the information from a man who was attached to the Chinese delegation or who left Paris after I did. I advised in a memorandum which I wrote, a copy of which I have here somewhere on the situation-I advised the Chinese to take a certain course. One of the things that I suggestedand I showed this to Prof. Williams and Prof. Horbeck, also, and they
concurred-I said, “Get the best legal counsel you can; get the best American international lawyer, and the best French international lawyer, and the best British international lawyer you can find, and get their advice on this point: If you under these circumstances sign this treaty without reservation, to what extent will they qualify any appeal which you may make for revision of this law to an international court, or a court of international arbitration, or to a league of nations. Get their advice on that point, and also even if you make no reservations:" I do not know whether they took that counsel or not. Then I said: “When the things come up, ask to be permitted to make reservations, stating your position, so that you may file your exception for an appeal later, on which to base your appeal. If these legal counselors advise you and you draft these exceptions, and the exceptions are put into the record, and you are not inhibited from taking your appeal later, then sign. If you can not sign under those circumstances, then do not sign."
I do not know to what extent my advice had to do with the course that the Chinese delegation pursued. Later they requested formally that they be allowed to make certain reservations to the treaty. I was still in Paris on the day that the treaty came up for adoption by the conference, when it was read and adopted, and China had signified her intention of taking an exception. She was advised not to do it. Great pressure was being brought on them to yield, and when later it came to the signing of the treaty and they asked to put in these reservations, that was refused. I am informed also that at the very last moment after that was refused they then tried to obtain some kind of a statement from the council of four to the effect that the league of nations later would take up the Chinese case. They failed also to obtain any assurance in that particular. Under these circumstances, as you know, the Chinese refused to sign the treaty.
Of course the refusal to sign the treaty, as the Chinese knew very well, placed them in an unfortunate and isolated position. My opinion is that if some malicious marplot has set out to devise a way to place China in the most unfortunate circumstances in connection with this whole thing they could not have devised anything that would accomplish it more completely than this course of events.
China is now in the position of having lost out entirely on the Shantung thing. By reason of the advice of the United States she did not even present these various other matters for the consideration of the conference, thereby providing a way for some mutual international action, by reason of her refusal to sign the peace under those circumstances, because, as one of the Chinese put it, they can hang a man, but they can not make him sign his own death warrant, they are left so completely isolated. They are outside of the allied group. They are nowhere. That is their situation. - I night now just conclude what I have to say—that is, before you interrogate me—by saying that immediately after we learned of this decision of April 30 I was talking with Prof. E. T. Williams, our chief oriental expert, whose experience in China extends back over 35 years, most of the time as an official of the Government. He has been acting minister on several occasions, and before he resigned for some two or three years he was head of the far eastern division of the State Department. Those of you who are acquainted with Prof. Williams will know that he is a reticent, quiet man and one from whom it is difficult to get any positive expression of opinion on any subject, especially about diplomatic matters. When he heard of this he simply said, “That means war," and every American expert who was in Paris at the time felt exactly the same way. As we balance things, we feel that such things mean war, and we felt that this was left in a position where it is going straight on into a deadlock, and impasse, which will not be broken in any way except by a fight. That is what we all fear. I heard-I do not know whether it is true or not-that the so-called Gen. Bliss letter contained a statement somewhat to that effect. It is still held in camera. Probably the Government is not yet ready to publish that letter at this time, but, as we all know and as has been disclosed to you, our experts and Mr. Wilson's own colleagues all dissented from the Shantung decision. That about concludes what I have had in mind to say.
Senator JOHNSON of California. A question or two that I should like to ask if you will permit me, Senator. I want to go back to the incident of the 21 demands. Do you recall when the 21 demands were first made by Japan, that Japan maintained secrecy concerning the rest of the world knowing of those demands? · Mr. MILLARD. I recall it very distinctly.
Senator JOHNSON of California. And then do you remember that when finally the world learned something of those 21 demands that Japan published an erroneous statement or misstatement of them to the world?
Mr. MILLARD. I remember that perfectly.
Senator JOHNSON of California. Do you recall that after these demands were made upon China, and the world became cognizant that something of that sort had been done, Japan specifically denied that she had made any such demands?
Mr. MILLARD. I remember, yes, sir, that she did deny it until she knew that the text of the whole 21 demands was in the possession of every government, and then she could not deny, although she denied it after that.
You gentlemen might be interested in this. If you did not know the late Bishop Bashford of China you know who he was. I have this from Bishop Bashford himself. The Americans in China, especially the missionaries, well everybody out there was so wrought up over these 21 demands that Bishop Bashford made a trip back to the United States. He had been on a trip in the Yangtse Valley, and he came down to Shanghai. The newspapers there published the 21 demands.
Senator POMERENE. That is the call of the Senate. What is the purpose of the committee, to continue this hearing now?
The CHAIRMAN. I should like to conclude Mr. Millard's testimony to-day.
Senator POMERENE. I am obliged to go to the Senate. I am sorry that I can not be here.
The CHAIRMAN. We can take a recess until the afternoon if you prefer.
Senator SWANSON. Do you expect to be in Washington several days?
Mr. MILLARD. I expect to be here a couple of days anyway.