The Minister in China (Crane) to the Secretary of State
[Received September 25—1:48 a.m.]
274. Your telegram number 242.11 Statement made to Yen as instructed. He reiterates Chinese intention to observe Russian rights and refers to terms of mandate, see Legation’s 273.12 As [provided] in the last sentence [of] mandate, Chinese authorities are concerting upon details of administration of Russian concessions, etc., in China. Idea is to replace Russian consul in each case by Chinese commissioner for foreign affairs or police commissioner to carry on functions and duties of consul. This Chinese official will administer concessions [Page 766]in trust for future recognized Russian Government. In the meantime, however, extraterritorial quality of Russians [and] Russian property temporarily to lapse and to be subject to Chinese law and control; this nevertheless not to affect status of foreign holdings in Russian concessions. Question of joint international commission to administer Russian interests apparently quite new to Yen who asked time to consider but expressed doubt as to acceptability. Mandates giving details to be expected first of next week. Russian Minister free to remain in Peking, and Legation grounds could be under joint international supervision if desired. Act of Chinese Government not to be regarded as rupture of relations as in the case of Germany and Austria but as interregnum in view of the inability of old régime to function. In fact Chinese propose to make use of the Russian officials in Manchuria and to permit 31 Russian justices of peace to function but Russian court of appeals must cease.
Negotiations with Bolshevik mission still awaiting production of further credentials. Yen states that he has no intention of entering into any political negotiations with this mission or in that connection to prejudice Russian rights.
Meeting yesterday between French, British, Italian, Japanese and American representatives. French, Italian and Japanese were in possession of instructions as described in your telegram 242, which telegram I had not then received. British without instructions. No conclusion reached but French, Italian and Japanese made clear that exclusive Chinese control distasteful to their Governments and urged united and prompt action so that Governments might not be faced with accomplished fact of Chinese control. Japanese apparently anticipated Chinese refusal of inter-Allied control and [inquired] whether other Legations had instructions to cover such eventuality. None of them had. I shall consult further with my colleagues but desire instructions as to whether our Government is disposed to press for control by joint commission with a Chinese member added or abide by Chinese decision which is apparently Chinese control. In this connection it is to be remarked consular corps Tientsin exercised over the question and greatly desires international commission. Chinese record of control German concession Tientsin fairly satisfactory but at Hankow quite unsatisfactory. Intentions of Chinese regarding status or continuation of former Russian municipal councils in Russian concessions and participation of Chinese therein not yet formulated. I expect reply on that point tomorrow. Am informing consuls of mandates advising them pending further instructions to avoid acts constituting recognition of the continued official status of Russian consul.[Page 767]
Last paragraph your 242, Boxer Indemnity. Payments [to] Russia form 28 per cent total indemnity, 10 per cent was deferred December 17, remaining 18 per cent stopped with June payment. French-Russian loan 1895 regularly paid out [of] customs, nothing will affect it.