793.003 C 73/263: Telegram

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

110. Your telegram number 51 [52], March 2, 6 p.m. Strawn and I are in entire accord with your note to the Chinese Minister dated March 1st. Strongly recommend position there taken be adhered to until report of Commission is received and considered by you. Our policy is that inquiry should be conducted under broadest aspects of Washington Resolution Number 5 and the Chinese Government be given every opportunity to present any evidence it may have respecting extraterritorial practices or abuse of extraterritorial privileges. Some of the other Commissioners may insist that the investigation be limited to strict construction of Washington resolution and that the authority of that resolution is not so broad as to cover the subjects mentioned in the last paragraph of the Chinese Minister’s note to you, especially the suggestion that the inquiry embrace “the special status of foreigners apart from consular jurisdiction.” Thus far the Commission has dealt only with Chinese laws and no question has arisen with regard to the scope of the Commission’s work. It is suggested that it would be advisable to refrain from any commitment on the phases of extraterritoriality apart from consular jurisdiction (such as the question of the liability of foreigners to taxation, which private conversations indicate they have in mind) until we know what matters the Chinese Commissioner proposes to include under this heading, feeling that a decision as to exact scope of Commission’s work is one that must be arrived at in conjunction with all Commissioners concerned.