893.51/5040: Telegram

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


635. 1. Wang Ch’ung-hui informed the British Minister,23 during the latter’s recent visit to Shanghai, that the Nanking regime had determined to appoint its own Inspector General of Customs for the territory which is under Nationalist control, the appointee to be a foreign member of the Customs (evidently Maze, the Commissioner of Customs at Shanghai, being slated) who should be given sub rosa authorization to maintain relations with Edwardes, the officiating [Page 466] Inspector General, and the revenues collected to bear their due share of the existing indemnity and loan charges upon customs revenues.

2. I am informed by Lampson that he spoke very emphatically regarding the inexpediency of such action, whereby foreign trade interests would be antagonized and the ruin of Chinese credit would be completed at a time when there is a prospect that the ripe plum may be grasped by the Nationalists. Wang heartily agreed, Lampson informed me. Although it appears that the matter is momentarily in abeyance, there are clear indications of the probability that it will arise again soon.

3. I should like to be instructed by you as to whether I am correct in the assumption that you would wish me to join in representations which are based upon expediency as viewed from the standpoint of Chinese interests, but not to take part in any protest on the basis of interests or rights where the integrity of the Maritime Customs Administration is concerned.

  1. Sir Miles Lampson.