893.00/7642: Telegram

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

403. Following telegram has been sent to the American consul general at Canton:

“September 15, 11 a.m. 1. The American consul at Swatow has informed me that the Chinese authorities there have mined the principal channel at the entrance to Swatow Bay and have issued certain regulations governing ship movement in that regard. After consultation with the commander in chief of the United States Asiatic Fleet, I have directed Chamberlain to protest against the regulation requiring that foreign naval vessels before entering the port shall [Page 629] five 1 day’s notice of their arrival to local army headquarters. I have likewise directed him to reserve the right for our naval vessels to leave at night in an emergency after due notice to the authorities.

2. Obviously our naval authorities cannot comply with the unreasonable regulation requiring notification of arrival as described above and must reserve the right to enter or leave the harbor at night after due notice, both of the regulations concerned being in contravention of treaty rights. You should bring these considerations immediately to the attention of the Canton authorities, requesting them to issue to the Swatow military command instructions responsive to my protest and reservation above mentioned.

3. Please inform commander South China Patrol for information commander in chief.

4. Department informed.”