500.A4d/108: Telegram

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

21. Your 27, January 15, 9 p.m.96 You will inform Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs that pursuant to the obligation imposed upon it by Article 8 of the Treaty of February 6, 1922, relating to [Page 1006] Principles and Policies concerning China, to invite the “Powers not signatory to the present treaty, which have governments recognized by the signatory Powers and which have treaty relations with China” to adhere to that treaty, the Government of the United States on October 1, 1925, made the necessary communications to the following Powers: Austria, Bolivia, Chile, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Persia, Peru, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland and on November 21, 1925, to Brazil.97 You will say that I have carefully considered the reasons given by him for objecting, on behalf of China, to adherence on the part of Germany to this treaty,98 and that inasmuch as Germany has a Government recognized by the signatory Powers and has treaty relations with China, I am unable to share with him the belief that it was not intended by the framers of the treaty that Germany should be asked to adhere. Nor do I share his fear that the adherence of any of these Powers is to be interpreted as affecting their position vis-à-vis China in any other way than to impose upon them the same obligations which have been assumed by the signatory Powers, namely “(1) To respect the sovereignty, the independence and the territorial and administrative integrity of China; (2) To provide the fullest and most unembarrassed opportunity to China to develop and maintain for herself an effective and stable government; (3) To use their influence for the purpose of effectually establishing and maintaining the principle of equal opportunity for the Commerce and industry of all nations throughout the territory of China; (4) To refrain from taking advantage of conditions in China in order to seek special rights or privileges which would abridge the rights of subjects or citizens of friendly States, and from countenancing action inimical to the security of such States.” Their adherence will likewise carry with it the obligation imposed upon the signatory Powers “not to enter into any treaty, agreement, arrangement, or understanding, either with one another, or, individually or collectively, with any Power or Powers, which would infringe or impair” the above enumerated principles, as well as other obligations contained in that treaty. You should inform the Minister for Foreign Affairs that this Government cannot withdraw its invitation to these countries including Germany because of its obligations under Article 8 of the treaty regarding Principles and Policies and that, aside from the question of treaty obligation, I feel that it is distinctly to China’s interest that all of the Powers having [Page 1007] treaty relations with China should subscribe themselves to the principles and policies set forth in a treaty the whole purpose of which is to ensure to China the fullest and most unembarrassed opportunity to develop itself and maintain for itself an effective and stable Government.

  1. Not printed.
  2. See instruction No. 288, Oct. 1, 1925, to the Ambassador in Spain, and footnote 66, Foreign Relations, 1925, vol. i, p. 762.
  3. For reasons given by the Chinese Government for objecting to the adherence of Germany to the treaty, see memorandum from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jan. 16, p. 1004.