493.11 N 15/122: Telegram

The Chargé in China (Mayer) to the Secretary of State

183. 1. Following from American consul general at Shanghai:

“March 13, 4 p.m. Nanking Minister of Foreign Affairs urges that he be informed of the approximate total amount of reparations to be demanded on behalf of the United States Government and citizens who suffered in the Nanking outrages. Paxton states that only Department can supply full information. Please telegraph total with authority to furnish it to Minister during conversations.

(2) Nanking authorities are prepared to recognize consular claims as preferred and pay soon after signing agreement. Please instruct what attitude should be taken in the conversations. The British do not consider consular claims as preferred. In the tentative agreement they have divided the claims into personal and property losses, consular claims falling in the second class.”

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2. In my reply of March 15, 3 p.m., I stated in part as follows:

“I suppose that unless he has already done so, Paxton should suggest to the Minister that he, Paxton, ascertain and inform the Department amount of losses suffered by consular Chinese staff at consulate and request its authorization to include such claims.”

3. Cunningham’s telegram was also repeated to Minister March 15, 3 p.m., with inter alia the following comments:

Lampson10 has told Davis11 that British Government reimbursed its consular officers many months ago;
I suggest that Department be asked to ascertain from each missionary board affected total approximate claims which it desires presented for mission-owned property, since some may not wish to ask for compensation, and that Department be requested to place the valuation upon officially owned furniture and equipment lost at consulate;
Exclusive of consular claims, claims of American individuals and organizations of which Legation has record, amount approximately to Mexican dollars 580,000 and gold dollars 146,000.

4. The Department’s instructions are respectfully requested in regard to second paragraph of Cunningham’s telegram.

  1. Telegram in two sections.
  2. Sir Miles W. Lampson, British Minister in China.
  3. John K. Dayis, first secretary of Legation in China.