The Minister in China (Schurman) to the Secretary of State
[Received 3:05 p.m.]
170. 1. Following note from Koo, dated June 9, has been received by Netherlands Minister, acting dean of diplomatic corps:
“With reference to the premises of the former Russian Legation in Peking, Your Excellency will recall that according to the note of Monsieur Pastor, the former doyen of the diplomatic corps, received [Page 444] by this Ministry October 4, 1920, the members of the diplomatic corps had agreed to entrust at first temporarily the said premises to the custody of Prince Koudacheff. According to doyen’s note of January 11, 1921, the premises in question were entrusted, in view of Prince Koudacheff’s departure from Peking, to the custody of His Excellency Monsieur Oudendijk as representative of the diplomatic corps until the arrival [at] Peking of a representative of a recognized Russian government. These notes were duly acknowledged by this Ministry.
As the Chinese Government has recognized the Soviet Government upon the conclusion of the Sino-Russian agreements and restored its normal diplomatic and consular relations with the latter, all the premises of the former Russian Legation as well as articles appurtenant thereto should of course be returned to the representative of the Soviet Government to China, in accordance with the original arrangement. I have the honor therefore to request that Your Excellency will be so kind as to bring this matter to the attention of the interested resident ministers at Peking and to favor me with a reply at your convenience.”
2. Koo’s note leaves out of consideration the statement in the dean’s note of October 3, 1920, to the effect that the Russian Legation would be taken in charge by the representatives of the protocol powers until Russian representation recognized by the powers should be again established. See enclosure in despatch no. 317 of October 14, 1920, from this legation.74a
3. An informal meeting of the representatives of the protocol powers yesterday considered the Chinese note. Several days previously this meeting had been called to discuss Russian problems affecting these representatives.
4. The meeting decided unanimously that the Dutch Minister should reply on behalf of the protocol powers to Koo.75 The reply should state that if and when a duly accredited diplomatic representative of Russia wished to gain possession of the Russian Legation he should apply to the Dutch Minister who represented the group.
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