The Vice President of the Continental and Commercial Trust and Savings Bank (Abbott) to the Acting Secretary of State

Sir: Referring to your letter of December 21, 1920,65 in regard to the delay of the Chinese Government in making payment of semiannual interest due November 1, 1920 on the “Republic of China 6% Two-Year Secured Gold Loan Treasury Notes of 1919”, and your advice that the Department had received from the American [Page 375] Legation in Peking a cablegram66 stating that “The Chinese Government will effect re-payment from the surplus of salt revenues during the first few days of January.”

Inasmuch as nineteen days of this month have elapsed and such remittance of interest has not been received, may we not request that you again call this matter to the attention of the Chinese Government and bring such pressure to bear as will result in the prompt payment of this interest, which under the terms of the loan contract amounts with costs to $166,031.25.

In your letter to this Bank elated October 21, 1919,67 you were good enough to say that it was the policy of the Department “to give all proper diplomatic support and protection to legitimate enterprises abroad of American citizens”, and that “the undertakings of (American) Nationals in foreign countries should be encouraged and supported”, and that “to the accomplishment of this end this Government is willing to take all proper steps to insure the execution of equitable contracts which are made in good faith”.

As we informed you, we advanced the funds on November 1, 1920 necessary to meet the interest referred to and have in every way done everything we could to maintain the credit of China in the investment market of the United States, but as another semi-annual installment of interest will become due May 1, 1921, or three and one-half months hence, it seems to us that the time is at hand when we must rely upon you to exercise such pressure as will result in the Chinese Government fulfilling its obligations.

Yours respectfully,

John Jay Abbott
  1. Not printed.
  2. See telegram no. 442, Dec. 16, 1920, from the Minister in China, Foreign Relations, 1920, vol. i, p. 673.
  3. Ibid., 1919, vol. i, p. 525.