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

No. 707

Sir: I have the honor to enclose copies of correspondence98 from the American Consul, Tsinan, Province of Shantung, relative to the recent declaration of martial law by the Chinese authorities at Tsinan and the territory along the Tientsin–Pukow and Shantung Railways. There is also enclosed a translation of the Martial Law Rules together with the comments of the Consular Body at Tsinan thereon.98 It will be noted that there was some divergence of view among the members of the Consular Body as to what extent these rules were applicable to foreigners. The Legation in its instruction to the Consul at Tsinan dated May 25th, copy of which is enclosed,98 approved the position taken by Mr. Gauss in his despatch to the Commissioner for Foreign Affairs dated May 2, 1922, in which he stated that while he could not consent to the application of martial law to American citizens in impairment of treaty rights, he was disposed to give all proper assistance to the authorities in maintaining order and in preventing or suppressing any possible participation by Americans in any improper or unlawful acts. A copy of this despatch is transmitted as an enclosure to Mr. Gauss’ despatch No. 327, dated May 2, 1922.98

The Legation would appreciate an expression of the views of the Department on the general subject of the applicability of martial law to persons possessed of extraterritorial privileges for the guidance of the various Consular officers in China.

I have [etc.]

Jacob Schurman
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