500.A 4 e/342

The British Chargé (Chilton) to the Secretary of State

No. 822

Sir: With reference to previous correspondence on the subject of the forthcoming Conference to consider the question of the Chinese Tariff, I have the honour, on instructions from His Majesty’s Government, to inform you that their delegates to the Tariff Conference are being instructed on the following lines: whilst of opinion that the grant forthwith of complete tariff autonomy is out of the question in the present stage of Chinese administration and fiscal development, His Majesty’s Government have no intention of rejecting the request of the Chinese Government for eventual full tariff autonomy. It must, however, in the opinion of His Majesty’s Government, be made clear at the outset that such autonomy can only come in stages and in the measure in which the Chinese authorities carry out their part of the programme adopted at the Conference. His Majesty’s Government trust that the Conference will enable this principle to be confirmed, and to be put into practical application.

In bringing the above information to your notice, I have the honour to add that His Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs proposes, in a speech to be delivered today, to outline the policy of His Majesty’s Government with regard to China.

I have [etc.]

H. G. Chilton