893.51/3212: Telegram

The Vice Consul in Chargé at Canion (Price) to the Acting Secretary of State

By reason of reported decision delivered by Peking to release Southern portion customs surplus to Peking, Canton Government has announced that it will assume administration of the customs within the territory it controls. Beginning February 1st it guarantees the payments of its quota of the foreign obligations for which the revenue has been hypothecated and that present personnel will [Page 496] be left unchanged. Cantonese feel that foreign powers are trying to force them into an unnatural union with a government they do not consider represents the Chinese people and to suppress their aspirations toward self-determination. I believe that the Southern Government as now constituted has the support of large proportion of the people [of] the South and that it is to American interests to let them work out their own destinies. Legation at Peking has been informed.