893.05/66: Telegram

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

297. My telegram 232, May 29, 7 p.m.

Shanghai consuls and the provincial authorities including Commissioner for Foreign Affairs have agreed upon the terms of rendition which now only require approval of the interested Legations. Final initialed copies of the draft agreement and exchange of notes have not been received but the arrangement will be substantially as follows: (a) In place of the Mixed Court in the International Settlement, Kiangsu Provincial Government will establish Shanghai Provisional Court having similar jurisdiction, (b) Chinese laws and procedure will be applied except as the latter shall be modified by mutual agreement, (c) Assessors to be known as consuls’ deputies shall function in all cases required by treaty and in criminal cases [Page 1032] “which directly affect the peace and order of the International Settlement.” The powers of the assessors to be in effect those conferred by the treaty of 1880. (d) Municipal police shall be detailed to functions as judicial police under orders of the court. (e) Appeals in Mixed Court mixed civil cases shall be to Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and the consul concerned. Special appellate court to be organized for criminal appeals. Death sentences to be subject to confirmation by the Provincial Government. (f) All judges to be appointed by the Kiangsu Provincial Government. Registrar to be nominated by the Senior Chinese Magistrate to and appointed by Provincial Government, his precise duties to be determined by an international commission, (g) Article 7 of the agreement states inter alia “the foregoing six articles forming the provisional agreement for the rendition of the Mixed Court to the Kiangsu Provincial Government shall be in force for 3 years dating from the day on which the Mixed Court is handed over. Within this period the Chinese Central Government may at any time negotiate with the foreign Ministers concerned in Peking for a final settlement which, if agreed upon between the Chinese Central Government and the said foreign Ministers, shall replace the present provisional agreement. If at the end of 3 years no final settlement has been reached in Peking the present provisional agreement shall continue to be in force for another 3 years.”
In informal conversation between Peck28 and Wang Chunghui29 July 21, 10 p.m., latter made no criticism of the proposed terms of rendition except as regards confirmation of death sentences by the Provincial Government. He stated this violated the criminal code which requires confirmation of the Supreme Court.
I consider proposed agreement very acceptable solution of Mixed Court problem and anticipate its early approval by the interested Legations. Rendition of the Court should have very salutary effect on Chinese public sentiment.
  1. Willys R. Peck, Chinese Secretary of Legation at Peking.
  2. Chinese Minister of Justice and Commissioner on the Commission on Extraterritoriality in China.