893.512/427: Telegram

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


516. Referring to last sentence of Department’s 249 of October 27.

I venture to invite renewed attention to Mr. Jenkins’ telegram October 21, 1 p.m., paragraph 1, repeated to you in my number 511 of October 25. This clearly shows that passport examination by so-called Bureau for Detection of Smuggling has been directly and simultaneously instituted in connection with collecting the new taxes. A difference should be noted between this examination and the normal and substantial case of inspection of passports by Chinese officials in the interior or by the Maritime Customs. Examination of passports by this bureau and other acts to take place by virtue alone of the imposing of the new taxes are, it would seem, not susceptible of discrimination, all being concerned, jointly and immediately, with the success of their collection. Thus, while passport examination is merely nominal here, in this instance it is like any other act to be performed regarding the new taxes by the Cantonese. Therefore it would appear that an attempt to except the regulations for passport examination from a protest against the regulations would be both technically incorrect and practically unwise, because in the former regard not the slightest attention will be paid to so fine a distinction by any foreigner or Chinese, especially the strike pickets to whom is entrusted the enforcement of the regulations. In that situation I apprehend that we will be considered substantially to have acquiesced in the examination regulations in case any part of them is omitted from our protest.
I request respectfully that Department’s 249 be reconsidered in the sense of the above comment.