The Secretary of State to the Minister in China (Crane)

No. 18

Sir: The Department has received the Legation’s despatch No. 3123 of December 11, 1919,29 repeating the request of Minister Reinsch of August 1330 for instructions as to the attitude of this Government towards the continued application of the Russian and Japanese war-time passport regulations on the South Manchuria and Chinese Eastern Railways.

While the Department’s Instruction No. 1070 of November 7th [, 1919] on this subject contemplated an early ratification of the Peace Treaty by this Government the Department does not believe that ratification of the Peace Treaty by the United States should be considered as an absolutely necessary condition precedent to the termination of the application of the Russian and Japanese wartime passport regulations in their respective zones in Manchuria. You are therefore instructed to consult with your colleagues as to the opportuneness of the present time for dispensing with such wartime restrictions, and reverting to the normal status in which foreign nationals in China are subject in respect to passport requirements only to the provisions of the treaties between their own Government and that of China. In doing so you may inform your colleagues that it is the belief of this Government that the objects of passport control on the two railways under consideration have now been happily fulfilled making their continuance unnecessary.

For your information in this connection there are enclosed copies of the exchange of correspondence between the American Minister at Peking and his Russian and Japanese colleagues,31 respectively, covering the arrangements for passport inspection on the Chinese Eastern and South Manchuria Railways.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Van S. Merle-Smith
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed; see instruction no. 1070, Nov. 7, 1919, to the Charge in China, supra.
  3. Correspondence with the Russian Minister not printed; with the Japanese Minister, printed pp. 3436.