793.003 C 73/261: Telegram

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

52. Your telegram No. 96 of February 27, 2:00 P.M. On February 27th the Chinese Minister left with the Department the following [Page 969] paraphrase of a telegram dated February 26, which he had received from the Chinese Foreign Office:

“Referring to the subject of full powers for the Delegates to the Extraterritoriality Commission, the Chinese Government and people deeply appreciate the sympathetic and friendly attitude of the United States, and eagerly desire that definite arrangements should be concluded before the termination of the Commission’s work. For this purpose plenipotentiary powers might be conferred on members of the Commission or Delegates Plenipotentiary might be appointed. The Chinese Government understands that under the terms of the Washington Resolution, consular jurisdiction is only one phase of the extraterritoriality question. Other matters, for example, which present extraterritoriality practices, abuse of extraterritoriality privileges and special status of foreigners apart from consular jurisdiction, fall within the scope of the Commission.”

In reply to the request of the Chinese Government contained in that telegram, the Secretary informed the Chinese Minister by a third person note dated March 1, as follows:

“The Secretary of State has given careful consideration to the request of the Chinese Government and has the honor to state that when he takes up for consideration the question of empowering someone on behalf of the Government of the United States to negotiate with a duly authorized representative of the Chinese Government for a change in the provisions of existing treaties between the United States and China under which citizens of the United States reside and carry on their enterprises in China, he desires to have before him the report and recommendations of the Commission now sitting at Peking for the purpose of making an investigation into extraterritorial practices. Therefore he deems it necessary that that Commission be allowed to complete its investigations in accordance with the provisions of Resolution V of the Washington Conference and the identic notes of the Powers to the Chinese Foreign Office of September 4, 1925.”

I am at a loss to understand statements made in last two sentences of Chinese Government’s telegram to Chinese Minister and therefore desire Strawn’s comments thereon. I have expected that Commission would cover all phases of extraterritorial practices in the course of its investigations and that it would find it possible to make recommendations of a constructive nature upon which some definite policy regarding this Government’s future attitude on the subject of the extraterritorial provisions of its treaties with China might be laid.