500.A 4 e/370: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in China (MacMurray)


278. Your telegram 423 of September 30, 11 a.m., second and third paragraphs. This Government cannot exceed the authority granted to it in the treaties and resolutions adopted by the Washington Conference. As Germany is one of the countries described in article 8 of the treaty relating to principles and policies to be followed in matters concerning China which have treaty relations with China and are recognized by the signatory powers,64 the German Government has been invited to adhere to that treaty. Soviet Russia has not been invited to adhere to this treaty because while it has treaty relations with China it is not recognized by all of the powers signatory to the treaty.

The Chinese customs tariff treaty provides in article 8 that the United States shall invite the adherence of nonsignatory powers which at the time of the signing of the treaty were recognized by the signatory powers and had treaties with China limiting the customs rates to 5 percent on imports and exports. Germany and Soviet Russia have not been invited to adhere to this treaty because they do not qualify under the provisions of article 8.

The fifth resolution of the Washington Conference, that relating to extraterritoriality in China,65 may be acceded to by nonsignatory powers which have treaties with China granting them extraterritorial rights. This Government does not understand that either Germany or Soviet Russia are qualified under this resolution to participate in the coming Commission on Extraterritoriality as at present they do not have extraterritorial rights in China.