File No. 893.51/1274.

The American Minister to the Secretary of State.


The Chinese Government today informally notified the six Ministers of the following appointments: Oiesen, a Dane, chief salt inspector; Rumpf, a German, director foreign loan bureau; and Rossi, an Italian, advisor to audit department. First named reported good character and ability; second known by and acceptable to bankers; third now member Italian Parliament, recommended by Italian Minister. The first position is important to the security pledged for the loan; the second relates to expenditure of loan proceeds; the third is not directly connected with the loan but is of general importance.

The six Ministers met this evening and I said rehabilitation of China’s finances and improvement of her revenues being the most important matter, I would accept the nominations made; or, in view of the fact that a German was already nominated, I would accept a representative of France and of England for the two remaining places. I was indifferent to nationality of appointees if good men. French and British Ministers naturally accepted suggestion. Russian Minister objected; said his Government had largest proportion of Boxer indemnity secured on salt revenue and therefore was entitled to representation in its administration. Finally we agreed to submit to our Governments the question of nationality of these appointees. Please instruct.

Emergency again approaches wherein British and Germans may break off and make advance which the Chinese sorely need.