The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Geddes)

The Secretary of State acknowledges the receipt of the memorandum (No. 837) under date of November 6 in which His Excellency the British Ambassador advised him of having received instructions with regard to the decision of the British Government, subject to the sanction of Parliament, to remit its share of the outstanding Boxer indemnity payments on the understanding that these will be devoted to approved objects mutually beneficial to China and to Great Britain, and inquired whether the Government of the United States would desire to associate itself with the British Government in addressing to the Chinese Government a communication announcing its decision to remit under similar conditions the remainder of the indemnity payments.

The Secretary of State is happy to inform the British Ambassador that a substantially similar decision to remit to China, subject to the approval of the Congress of the United States, all further payments of this indemnity, as from October 1, 1917, was reached by the Secretary of State and communicated by him to the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate in a letter dated July 19, 1921.85 There are enclosed herewith two copies of the Report of the Senate Committee (No. 250) embodying this recommendation, and of the Joint Resolution (S. J. Res. 85) introduced in the Senate by Mr. Lodge in pursuance thereof.86 This Joint Resolution, having [Page 814] been passed by the Senate on August 11, 1921, is now under consideration by the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives. It will be noted that the Joint Resolution contemplates no condition upon the remission of the balance of the indemnity, this Government having assumed that the Chinese Government would not be disposed to devote the remitted funds to any purpose which this Government might have reason to deem objectionable or inappropriate.

No difficulty is anticipated in arranging that any sums paid by the Chinese Government, on account of the balance of indemnity payable to the American Government, which it was recommended should be remitted, shall be held subject to return to the Chinese Government in the event of the final approval by the Congress of the Joint Resolution now pending.