The Minister in Denmark ( Grew ) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 18—1:55 a.m.]
17. In accordance with instructions contained in the Department’s no. 5, February 15, 7 p.m., I delivered personally to the Minister for Foreign Affairs yesterday a note inquiring whether protest against contract of Federal Telegraph Company had been made with the approval of the Danish Government and if so by virtue of what rights. The following is the pertinent part of the reply which I received today:
“In reply I have the honor to inform you that the Danish Legation at Peking has lodged this protest with the Chinese Government pursuant to instructions from the Danish Government, on the ground that the contract in question is in conflict with the agreement entered upon on the 22nd of December, 1913, between the Chinese Government on the one part and the Great Northern Telegraph Company, Limited, and the Eastern Extension Australasia and China Telegraph Company, Limited, on the other part.”
[At my request to be shown the agreement in question the Minister for Foreign Affairs has unofficially given me a copy but has emphasized the fact that it is for my confidential information only and under no circumstances to be given out for publication. I therefore strongly urge the importance of respecting this confidence.18 It reads as follows:]19[Page 415]
[“] Addition to the agreement with the Imperial Chinese Telegraph Administration of July 11th, 1896, dated December 22nd, 1913.
In connection with the agreement entered into on the 11th July, 1896, between the Imperial Chinese Telegraph Administration on the one part, and the Great Northern Telegraph Company, Limited, and the Eastern Extension Australasia and China Telegraph Company, Limited, on the other part, the following additional article has been agreed upon and under date given signed by that [the] Chinese Government, represented by Mr. C. C. Lung, the Director General of Telegraph Directorates of Chiao T’ung Pu, and by the companies represented by Captain H. Rothe, Co-General Manager of the Great Northern Telegraph Company, Limited, and Mr. W. Bullard, Manager in China of the Eastern Extension Australasia and China Telegraph Company, Limited, each duly furnished with full and special powers for this purpose, and now witnesseth that in the interest of [both parties] to the agreement, dated July 11th, 1896, and for the same term of years, that is, till the 31st December, 1930, no other party will be allowed without the consent of both the said parties to land telegraph cables on the coast of China and islands belonging thereto, or to work such cables in connection with the Chinese lines, or otherwise to establish telegraph connections which might create competition with or injure the interests of the existing lines belonging to China or to the cable companies. This shall, however, not prevent the Chinese Government from establishing local internal cables where no competition can arise; neither shall it prevent the transmission of terminal Formosa traffic over the Foochow-Formosa cable, now belonging to Japan, whilst other traffic must not be exchanged by this line except with the consent of China and of the cable companies.
The present additional article shall be ratified by the Wai Chiao Pu and by the Ministers at Peking for Denmark and Great Britain.
In Witness Whereof the undersigned, duly authorized to this effect, have signed the present additional article.
Done in Peking in the English language and in the Chinese language. Six documents duly compared and found [to be] in agreement have been signed in each of these languages on the 22nd day of the month of December, 1913, corresponding with the [22nd day of the] 12th moon of the 2d year of the Chinese Republic.
For the Chinese Government,
C. C. Lung (in Chinese characters),
The Director General of Telegraph Directorates
For the Great Northern Telegraph Company,
H. Rothe, Co-General Manager
For the Eastern Extension Australasia and China
Telegraph Company, Limited,
W. Bullard, Manager in China”
- The Secretary of State on Feb. 19 instructed the Minister to this effect: “With a view to avoiding chance of misunderstanding through possible public discussion of the question please point out to Minister for Foreign Affairs that text of agreement quoted in your no. 17 is printed in full in British and Foreign State Papers, vol. 107, p. 726.” (File no. 893.74/74.)↩
- This paragraph, which was omitted in enciphering, is inserted here as communicated to Department in Legation’s telegram no. 18, Feb. 18.↩