File No. 893.543 C 42/6.
Minister Reinsch to the Secretary of State.
Peking, September 30, 1915.
Sir: In continuation of dispatch No. 761, of the 22d instant, I have the honor to submit for the information of the Department a translation of the note17 in which the Foreign Office, replying under date of the 22d instant to the Legation’s note of August 30, communicated to the Legation the text of that judgment with the comment that it had been discussed with and approved by both the American and Japanese assessors. There is also enclosed a copy of the note17 by which the Legation on the following day pointed out that the case was one between Americans and Chinese, in which no other nationality was involved, and requesting for its files another statement of the settlement which should not confuse the question at issue by irrelevant references to third parties.
Lest any misunderstanding should arise out of the ambiguous phraseology of the note from the Foreign Office, which seems to imply that the final judgment was signed by the Japanese assessor, I have to report that the Legation has communicated with the Consulate General at Shanghai and has ascertained that such is not the case.
When calling on the Minister for Foreign Affairs yesterday afternoon I took occasion to express to him the unwillingness of the Legation to accept the note of the 22d instant as concluding the matter, in view of its gratuitously confusing the question of jurisdiction involved by setting forth the concurrence of the Japanese assessor—in [Page 254]entire disregard of the contention upon which the Legation has rested the case, and which the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in conversations with me and with the Chargé d’Affaires during my absence, has accepted as being the sole contention compatible with Chinese sovereignty under the existing treaties. In reply, the Minister consented that the Foreign Office note of September 22 and the Legation’s reply of the 23d should both be returned, and that this exchange of correspondence should be considered as non avenu.
I have [etc.]