893.51/3216: Telegram

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

53. Dean of the diplomatic corps circulates telegram from Wu Ting-fang, Canton, of which following summary:

As the Military Government of the Republic of China exercises all power in constitutionalist provinces, de facto as well as legal, it is an absurdity and anomaly for Chinese Maritime Customs to function in those provinces under orders Peking and collect and divert revenue for use elsewhere, this Government has ordered therefore that the customs service in those provinces shall after February 1st be subject to its orders and control. Those of the present personnel who acknowledge authority of Canton will be retained and rules hitherto not [sic] existing shall be observed. Foreign obligations on the customs shall be scrupulously met and shall form first charge pro rata on the coldness [sic]. Sympathy and cooperation of the foreign powers requested.

Dean of the diplomatic corps not replying. British Minister requesting prompt meeting of the diplomatic corps to discuss measures described in my 42, January 20, 3 p.m. Section 2 to follow.91

  1. No second section to this telegram received by the Department; presumably this refers to telegram no. 58, Jan. 26, 1 p.m., infra.