The Chargé in China ( Mayer ) to the Secretary of State
[Received October 25—2:45 a.m.]
511. My 497, October 20, 7 p.m.
1. Following from American consul general at Cantoitem:
“October 21, 1 p.m. Referring to my telegram of October 13, 3 p.m.72 In connection with the collection of new taxes Canton regime has promulgated regulations for the examination of passengers on incoming and outgoing steamers and trains including passports and effects. This work is to be done by so-called Bureau for Detection of Smuggling, the personnel of which will consist of many former strike pickets who will have the right to make arrests including foreigners.
[Paraphrase.] This is what I feared. It shows a necessity for the powers to determine very quickly whether to insist that the new taxes be collected through the Customs or whether to oppose by force. My opinion is that the consuls should immediately be given authorization to make vigorous protest against any interference with the documents, effects and persons of foreigners. Despatch will follow.” [End paraphrase.]
2. Instructions respectfully requested.