793.003 C 73/261: Telegram

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


96. 1. The representative of the Government of China on the Extraterritoriality Commission, Wang Chung-hui, yesterday declared to me that, while he was aware that in the Washington resolution which established the Commission provision is made only for it to make reports and offer recommendations, the decision had been made in a consultation among the Ministers of Justice and for Foreign Affairs and himself that before the Commission’s labors were terminated it was highly desirable for the Commission to make some definite agreement about the procedure which should be followed regarding abolition of extraterritoriality. In addition he stated that instructions had been given to the Chinese Minister at Washington to approach you in regard to the subject. He inquired as to the attitude I took respecting the suggestion. I replied that I could not comment until I knew what was actually proposed. I asked whether a formulation of any concrete proposals had been made by him. His answer was that he had not as yet had the time to do so.

2. Strawn and I recommend strongly that the powers of the Commission be not enlarged without any opinion formally expressed by the Commissioners now sitting. It is our belief that there is unanimous sentiment against modification of treaties at present, in view of the revolutionary conditions obtaining here and the absence here of a Government which is capable of enforcing law. The Chinese demand is preposterous. The Commission’s report will present facts for Governments to consider seriously before they should take any action.