The Chairman of the American Delegation ( Arnold ) to the Secretary of State

Sir: I have the honor to report that the China Tariff Revision Commission had its fourth session yesterday, February 6th and completed its Rules of Procedure. It was decided that the majority vote should obtain, but that each delegation reserves the right to refer any matters to its home government for action.

It was also decided to provide for the appointment of sub-committees to consider questions of special importance where sub-committee’s action might be deemed advisable, and that the chairman in appointing these committees would do so with the approval of the Commission and with the understanding that those countries interested in the subjects for special discussion would be expected to have [Page 650] representation on the sub-committee. The Japanese and British delegates wished to have adopted a stipulation to the effect that the sub-committees be comprised of delegates of the countries especially interested in the matters to be submitted to the sub-committee and a unanimous vote in sub-committee be necessary for final action. The American Delegation, along with those of certain other countries, opposed the unanimous rule for sub-committee reports, as also the idea of including in these committees only those delegates of the especially interested countries. The ideas of the American Delegation in these connections prevailed, both the British and Japanese delegates finally agreeing to their acceptance.

The proposed provisional tariff pending the completion of the Commission’s labor was again put before the meeting by the chairman. The British delegate announced that his government had sanctioned the enactment of this particular schedule and that he was ready to proceed with the ways and means of securing a provisional enactment which will give to China a 5% ad valorem pending the final outcome of the Commission’s labors. With the exception of the Japanese delegate, the remainder of the Commission were apparently ready to join the British delegate in this attitude. The Japanese delegate, however, stated that he is still awaiting instructions from his government as to its wishes in this matter and that he could not even discuss the matter until he had instructions from his government in this connection.

The meeting then adjourned until Friday, February 15th, at which time the Japanese delegate said he hoped to be able to discuss this matter and would be fully informed by his government as to its attitude in this connection.

I have [etc.]

Julean Arnold