711.93/189a: Telegram

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

223. Your 529, July 12, 6 p.m., and 532, July 13, 1 p.m. Just before receiving the above messages I sent you my No. 221 of July 13, noon a.m. [sic]. I quite appreciate the arguments which you make. I am pleased to have your views, nevertheless we have received this definite request from C. C. Wu which he said was sent [Page 461] on instructions of the Nationalist authorities. There is in addition to this a rising demand in the press that the United States recognize the Nationalist Government and proceed with negotiations. It seems to us that if in reply to Wu’s statement you indicated your willingness to take up negotiations on the tariff treaties and we made that statement here it would prevent the Nationalist Government from making claims that we are not willing to proceed according to my statement of January 27, 1927. Apparently while not acting very responsive to your overtures they still are pressing me to proceed with negotiations. What I fear is that unless we make some answer or indication that we are willing to proceed there will be publication of Wu’s note and other statements perhaps by the Nationalists which will tend to put us in the wrong.

I quite agree with you about the negotiations for the present being confined to the tariff. The latter part of paragraph 4 of my No. 202 of June 23, 3 p.m., was intended for your information to explain to the Nationalist authorities if they brought up this subject. I think it would be better in the first instance to confine your offer to negotiate on the tariff.

Frank Lee83 called to see Johnson84 today, in the absence of C. C. Wu, to find out if we were prepared to make an answer to his communication wired to you in our No. 221. Mr. Johnson told him that we were considering the whole matter and hoped to be able to make some reply shortly. He said that Alfred Sze had seen the communication and that any reply should be given to him as well as to C. C. Wu; that the Nationalist Government had offered Wu the appointment of Minister here which he had declined on the ground that Sze had been here a long time and had many friends; that his mission here was to get something started in connection with negotiations on new treaties and that the Nationalist authorities expected to appoint Wu and Wang Chung Hui85 and one other not named as delegates to carry on these negotiations. He said further that there would be many things to discuss which would take a good deal of time and they wanted to get started as soon as possible.

It is evident from this that they intend to press for negotiations.

The draft text discussed with the Solicitor last October is a satisfactory basis on which to negotiate and was somewhat elaborated in my No. 202. I quite agree with you about confidential communications with British and Japanese. In view of my No. 221, July 13, will await further communication from you before taking action.

  1. Representative of the Chinese Nationalist Government.
  2. Nelson T. Johnson, Assistant Secretary of State.
  3. Latter was a member of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee and of the Central Political Council.