706.6193/7: Telegram

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

270. 1. Your number 175, July 29, 6 p.m.; my 258, July 25, noon.

2. The diplomatic representatives of the eight protocol powers met here today and I presented to them Karakhan’s formal note requesting that the Russian Legation property and keys be handed over to him, as well as his unsigned typewritten report of the substance of his conversation with me. …

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3. Nothing was said by Karakhan about the defense of the Diplomatic Quarter.

The meeting lasted nearly three hours and the subject was considered from every point of view. The result was embodied in the draft of a reply to be made by me as dean to Karakhan which the diplomatic representatives were first to telegraph to their Governments for approval. That draft is as follows:

“I have the honor to inform you that I have this day laid the communication you addressed to me as dean on July 26, 1924, before my colleagues, the diplomatic representatives of the powers signatory to the protocol of 1901, and also informed them that in the conversation of July 24 to which you refer you informed me that the Soviet Government considered itself actually to be a cosignatory of the aforesaid protocol.

In view of this circumstance and the consequence thereof, namely, that the Soviet Government enjoys all the rights and is impressed with all the obligations of that protocol and of the protocol of 190482 and all subsequent arrangements which bound all the cosignatories to the maintenance of the conventional status of the Diplomatic Quarter, the diplomatic representatives of the signatory powers have consented to hand over to Your Excellency the Russian Legation and the keys thereof and have appointed the Chargé d’Affaires of the Netherlands Legation, Mr. Roell, to represent them in this business.

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As to the intimation given me by Your Excellency in the conversation above referred to that the Soviet might in the future renounce its interest in the protocol of 1901 which I also reported to my colleagues, I am requested to say that the representatives of the other powers signatory of the 1901 and 1904 protocols must reserve full liberty of action for their Governments in respect to the effect of such renunciation upon the rights, privileges and mutual obligations which accrue to and devolve upon all the signatories of these collective agreements.

If Your Excellency will acquaint me with the name of the person you may delegate to take over the Russian Legation and the keys, I will communicate the information to Mr. Roell.”

4. I think it is the expectation of all the diplomatic representatives that this draft perhaps with minor changes will be approved by their Governments. If the respective Governments cabled their replies next week the matter could be settled before I left Peking for America.

  1. For text of protocol of 1904, see MacMurray, Treaties and Agreements with and concerning China, vol. i, p. 315.