893.053 Sh/45

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

No. 595

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith copies of Diplomatic Circulars No. 71, of March 24, 1926, and 102, of April 27, 1926, together with certain observations placed thereon,21 which deal with the rendition of the International Mixed Court at Shanghai.

As the Department will note from these circulars, Commissions appointed respectively by the interested Foreign Ministers and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs began negotiations) on February 4, 1926, with the object of drafting an agreement for submission to the Ministers and the Wai Chiao Pu and acceptance by them. It is a matter of great regret, however, that up to the present time these two Commissions have been unable to agree upon terms for the rendition of the court. My Colleagues and I have been earnestly desirous that this vexed question should be solved before the first anniversary of the May 30th incidents at Shanghai,22 but I fear this is now impossible.

The inability of the foreign and Chinese delegates to agree upon terms of rendition arises from the insistence of the Chinese representatives that the reconstituted court shall consist partly of a purely Chinese court organized and conducted practically as would be the case if it were functioning in an area under Chinese control. The foreign representatives have done their best to satisfy this desire to the utmost practical limit, but they have, of course, been obliged to stop short of undertaking to alter the mode of administration of the International Settlement. They have kept in mind that the court that functions in the International Settlement must be in such relations with the Municipal Council and the foreign Consuls concerned that it shall serve as an efficient instrument in the control of the International Settlement and in the maintenance of its peace and neutrality. One means essential to the attainment of this end is the functioning of foreign Assessors in all police and criminal cases arising in the Settlement, and to this the Chinese representatives have interposed, up to the present moment, an absolute veto.

There appears to be now no chance that the rendition of the Mixed Court will take place before May 30th next, but it is to be hoped that the Legations will have been able to take some measures before then, to absolve themselves in the eyes of the public from a portion of the [Page 1030] blame for this delay that should rightfully be placed upon the Chinese authorities.

I have [etc.]

J. V. A. MacMurray