793.003 C 73/298

The American Commissioner on Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in China (Strawn) to the Secretary of State

No. 11

Sir: I have the honor to report the activities of the Commission on Extraterritoriality in China during the period from April 16 to April 30, 1926.

As stated in my report No. 10 of April 16, 1926, there was a meeting in my office on that date to discuss the matter of travel. At this meeting it was decided to postpone indefinitely the matter of travel on account of the impossibility of leaving Peking due to military activities in north and central China.

On April 22, 1926 another meeting was called in my office to discuss arrangements which the Chinese Commissioner had made for the Commission to leave Peking via the Peking-Hankow Railway on the evening of the following day, April 23, 1926. Due, however, to the short notice and also to the unsettled conditions existing in Peking itself and along the line of that Railway, it was decided to further postpone the matter of travel. On this subject the Commission is divided into two groups: One group is of the opinion that no travel should be undertaken until there is some Central Government in Peking recognized by the Powers which can make the necessary arrangements with the provincial authorities for the investigation which the Commission desires to make; the other group is of the opinion that travel should be undertaken as soon as the means of communication are available, regardless of the political situation in Peking. The matter again came up for discussion at a meeting on April 28, 1926, but was again postponed indefinitely because of the fact that no satisfactory or comfortable means of communication for travel are available. The views of the individual Commissioners may be ascertained by reference to the Minutes enclosed.56

[Page 977]

At the meeting on April 28, 1926, the Chinese Commissioner presented another memorandum on the subject of extraterritorial practices in China, supplementary to the memorandum which he presented on March 23, 1926.57 There was considerable argument as to the relevancy of the subjects mentioned in this supplementary memorandum as regards the general question of extraterritorial jurisdiction in China. It was unanimously decided, however, to receive the memorandum and transmit it to the various Governments concerned. A number of the Commissioners, including myself, are prepared to hear what the Chinese have to say with regard to any of the subjects mentioned therein, although I feel that the matter of railway zones, leased territories, and the Legation Quarter at Peking, are not within the scope of the work of the Commission.

While the matter of travel is in abeyance, the Commission is proceeding with a discussion of the draft report, and a meeting for this purpose will be held on May 5, 1926.

I inclose herewith copies of the Minutes of the meetings held on April 16, April 22 and April 28, together with a copy of the memorandum of the Chinese Commissioner mentioned above, which is attached to the Minutes of the meeting of April 28, 1926.58

I have [etc.]

Silas H. Strawn
  1. None printed.
  2. For list of subjects presented for the consideration of the Commission by the Chinese Commissioner in his memorandum of Mar. 23, see telegram No. 150, Mar. 25, from the Minister in China, p. 970.
  3. None printed.