793.003 C 73/46: Telegram

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

192. Your 90, May 28, 5 p.m. Arguments in favor of meeting of the Extraterritoriality Commission contained in your second and last sentences have been used by me with the diplomatic body and in [Page 623] private conversation for a long time, but without producing any effect. I again brought up subject in meeting diplomatic body 27th and emphasized the great advantage of getting the political situation in China proclaimed to the world in connection with an investigation by experts into Chinese judicial system and judicial administration. My colleagues, while to a certain extent conceding this point, held that the meeting of the Commission would either create false hopes in the minds of the Chinese or lead to dangerous concessions to them. They consider their opinions as representing practical politics and some expressed doubts whether jurists could make a better report of political conditions in China than foreign governments had already received from their ministers here. Each member being called on by the dean, every one favored postponement of meeting of the Commission as recommended in the identic telegram of May 25, my 181, May 25, noon.

I have to add that the opinion of the foreign community in China is overwhelmingly, I believe unanimously, opposed to the coming of the Commission at the present time and the Lincheng outrage has strengthened their opposition.

On the other hand, the Chinese Government wants to go on with the meeting of the Commission for which I learn privately they have made the necessary preparations.

While not abandoning my own views as to the utility of the meeting of the Commission, I must recognize the universality and intensity of the opposition to it and now also the incongruity between its duties and the task of securing reparations and guarantees which the Lincheng outrage has simultaneously created [apparent omission] the diplomatic body.

Prime Minister in the course of an interview published in this morning’s papers said:

“The citizens of China expect an early restoration of the rights of extraterritoriality. The Commission will meet this November in accordance with Washington treaties. This plan I do not think affected by the Lincheng affair since it has no connection with the other. The two questions are different and must be discussed separately and even if one or two powers refuse to talk about giving up extraterritoriality, the Chinese people must exert all the more efforts to secure it and the equality it represents.”