500.A4e/625: Telegram

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

298. I am sending the following telegram to consul general at Canton.

“July 24, 2 a.m. Your despatch No. 490, July 16, 1926.

“1. You should immediately address the following note textually to the so-called Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs at Canton and give the contents to the press, as I shall do at once:

‘The American Minister has read with much interest your note of July 14th, addressed to me, respecting the resumption of Special Tariff Conference at Peking, which I brought to his attention as requested by you. In this relation Mr. MacMurray stated that your strong opposition to the resumption of the Conference on behalf of the Canton regime, as well as similar protests from [Page 847] representatives of other regions in China, both before and since the inauguration of the Conference, evidence a disheartening lack of unanimity among the Chinese people in respect to the efforts of the Government of the United States jointly with the other friendly Powers concerned to carry out its purpose of bringing into effect certain readjustments of its treaty relations with China, a lack of unanimity which gives him very serious concern particularly at a moment when there exists no Central Government supported by all sections of China and recognized by the interested powers with which to deal on a basis of mutuality of responsibilities, such as my Government so earnestly desires to see reestablished.

‘The American Minister believed it scarcely necessary to observe that in any fiscal or other readjustment of treaty relationships with China, the object which his Government has in view is the benefit of China as a whole and not of any individual military or political faction.

‘In conclusion Mr. MacMurray expressed his appreciation of the value of receiving information from the various sections of China such as that afforded by your note to me of July 34th in regard to questions of mutual concern to the country as a whole and to the United States.’

2. [Paraphrase.] Chen’s note interested me very much. Quite possibly it might serve a useful purpose. This usefulness, however, would be lost in case Chen were so unwise as to reply at this time with more notes and to attempt for propaganda purposes to capitalize upon my present statement. When you deliver your note to him in person please find opportunity for making an explanation of this point of view to him.” [End paraphrase.]

Further telegram following.