893.053Sh/23: Telegram

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

75. My despatch no. 1572 of May 30, 1923.43 On January 26 the Chinese Foreign Office addressed a note to the dean43 pressing for a reply to its note of October 26, 1922,43 asking for the rendition of the Mixed Court at Shanghai.

Further consideration of the rendition was postponed in 1923 because of the impending meeting of the Extraterritoriality Commission. My colleagues and I now feel that owing to the uncertainty of the date of the Commission no strong reason remains for further postponing resumption of rendition negotiations on the basis of the draft agreement of 1915,43 as subsequently modified by the Foreign Office note of October 26, 1922, and consular body report.44 I favor such resumption not only in order to remedy disadvantageous results of present isolated status of the court and similar reasons but also to offset possible impressions of obstructiveness of the powers arising from lack of progress in Washington Conference program.

Proposed note from dean to the Chinese Foreign Office after indicating readiness to negotiate on the above basis requires guarantees from the Chinese Government as follows: 1. That provision will be made for meeting court expenses. 2. That all Mixed Court decisions will be recognized and given effect where necessary by all Chinese courts throughout Republic. 3. That the local authorities at Shanghai will execute terms of rendition arrived at.

The note further states that the diplomatic body would be glad to receive in addition to guarantees an assurance from the Chinese Government that it is prepared to enter into early negotiations for satisfactory settlement of other questions also outstanding, as for instance: (1) settlement extension; (2) port improvements; (3) Chinese representation on Municipal Council; (4) foreign representation in municipal councils of the adjoining Chinese areas. I opposed making this a condition precedent to rendition negotiations as was generally favored by my colleagues, and the formula finally adopted [Page 525] and expressed in the preceding sentence appears to me consistent with the Department’s views relative to separate settlement of the rendition question.

Many considerations appear to render my concurrence in this note highly advisable. I request the Department’s instructions by telegraph.

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  5. Report not printed. The consular body at Shanghai had assumed control of the Mixed Court in 1911, during the revolution of that year, and had continued to exercise control.