893.00/7636: Telegram

The Chargé in China ( Mayer ) to the Secretary of State

400. Legation’s 391, September 11, 4 p.m.

1. Upon receipt of more detailed information regarding regulations issued by Swatow authorities, I telegraphed him26 as follow:

“Pending further instructions on any additional action which may be required, you should protest in concert with your colleagues concerned, or alone if necessary, on general treaty grounds against regulation calling for 1 day’s notice in advance of arrival of foreign naval vessels.”

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British Legation states it is taking similar action.

2. After consulting by telegraph with commander in chief and acting upon his suggestion, I telegraphed American consul at Swatow as follow:

“September 14, noon. Regarding 24 hours’ advance notice regulation I consider after consultation with commander in chief that notice upon arrival channel entrance should be sufficient. You should likewise reserve the right for our vessels to leave at night in an emergency after due notice to the authorities.”

3. I agree with commander in chief that mining the entrance to Swatow Harbor might be accepted without protest, provided the authorities there made reasonable arrangements for the safe ingress and egress of foreign vessels, since we cannot entirely ignore the actual although not technical belligerency of the contending forces. As similar situations are apt to arise, I should appreciate the Department’s instructions in this general regard.

Mayer
  1. i. e., the American consul at Swatow.