The Chargé in China ( Mayer ) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 25—12:10 p.m.]
80. 1. British Minister states he has received a telegram from Inspector General of Customs (now at Hankow consulting with the Nationalists) which says that Ch’en declares that, if the Northerners put the collection of the surtax under Customs, the Nationalists will seize all customhouses. Therefore the British Minister has decided that he is unable to agree to include the last paragraph in the draft declaration transmitted to the Department in my No. 58, January 21, noon, third paragraph, expressing hope that the Customs would collect the surtaxes.
2. I propose adopting a similar attitude in the meeting for discussion of the matter, scheduled Thursday, January 27, unless instructed to the contrary (and assuming that Department informs me in meantime of its approval of the draft declaration).