793.003 C 73/297: Telegram

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


117. Personal for Strawn: Your number 10 sent April 16, delayed in transmission, and your communication May 12, received June 9,62 have been read and considered with care.

It is realized that your return home is necessary and that you are unable to go back to China. I appreciate deeply all that has been done by you.
Regarding the tentative recommendations you have made, my feeling is that you ought to be permitted to use your personal judgment unhampered with respect to details by instructions from the Department, the reason being that the Department should remain free as to the making of any treaty regarding extraterritoriality after your report is received. Since I am unfamiliar with the local conditions in China, I can give you on this subject only the most general instructions. It has been my desire to renounce extraterritoriality in regard [Page 979] to China and everywhere else as soon as such action is compatible with the requirements of protecting American lives and interests. Therefore I should wish that you make your report without being confined by definite instructions on details and make it without considering the desires of other countries except for those of their suggestions which commend themselves to your judgment. I do not desire that you should recommend as a prerequisite to extraterritoriality being relinquished, any requirements from China which you do not believe are absolutely necessary to protect American interests before extraterritoriality is relinquished. Ideal conditions are not expected by us, but we must have assurance of course that American citizens will be fairly protected by the Government. It has been my hope that we could give up extraterritoriality in China within a reasonable time. Possibly we may be forced into such a position that we will feel compelled to do that without delay, but I wish first to have your honest judgment on the situation.
  1. Not found in Department files.