893.51/3286: Telegram

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

103. My 89, February 15, 4 p.m. At a recent diplomatic meeting it was made clear that the diplomatic body does not approve plan of allowing Central Government to have accumulated sum allocated to Southern Government. It was unanimous in indorsing plan to set aside $420,000 to complete necessary flood conservancy work at Canton on condition of approval of Central Government. The diplomatic body asks you to approve this plan in this form.

While the Central Government approves Imperial Government work and has furnished money for it before, it objects in principle to the diplomatic body’s either holding the accumulated sum any longer or having any strings on it. The Foreign Office has now addressed identic notes to foreign Legations asking for release of full accumulated amount and proposes itself to set aside 420,000 taels for Canton conservancy work, 700,000 taels for diplomatic and consular expenses abroad which is months in arrears and represents all China and 1,400,000 taels to be placed with Inspector General of Customs for service of domestic loans, adding that such use of funds is not of political nature and affords no cause for opposition. The Legation requests instructions.