The Secretary of State to President Coolidge

Dear Mr. President: The question of taking up with representatives of China the subject of negotiating a new treaty has advanced with unanticipated rapidity.

I have sent to the diplomatic representatives here of the twelve most interested powers the text of a statement indicating this Government’s attitude, which statement has been addressed by Minister MacMurray, on my behalf, to the Nationalist Minister for Foreign Affairs at Nanking and concerning which information is being released to the press for use not earlier than July 26 at 9 a.m. A copy of this statement is enclosed.97

Since discussion with regard to this procedure began between this Department and our Legation in Peking, the proposal was made to Mr. MacMurray by the Minister of Finance of the Nationalist [Page 475] Government that a treaty concerning the tariff be concluded at once and I authorized Mr. MacMurray to proceed with negotiations. I received this morning a telegram stating that an agreement has been arrived at.98 The important provisions are as follows:

“All provisions which appear in treaties hitherto concluded and in force between the United States of America and China relating to rates of duty on imports and exports of merchandise, drawbacks, transit dues and tonnage dues in China shall be annulled and become inoperative, and the principle of complete national tariff autonomy shall apply, subject, however, to the condition that each of the high contracting parties shall enjoy in the territories of the other with respect to the above specified and any related matters treatment in no way discriminatory as compared with the treatment accorded to any other country.

“The Nationals of neither of the high contracting parties shall be compelled under any pretext whatever to pay within the territory of the other party any duties, internal charges or taxes upon their importations and exportations other or higher than those paid by Nationals of the country or by Nationals of any other country.

“The above provisions shall become effective on January 1st, 1929, provided that the exchange of ratifications hereinafter provided shall have taken place by that date, otherwise, at a date four months subsequent to such exchange of ratifications.

“This treaty shall be ratified by the high contracting parties in accordance with their respective constitutional methods, and the ratifications shall be exchanged as soon as possible.”

It now becomes necessary to issue full powers for the negotiating and signing of this treaty. To that end, the Department has prepared and I have countersigned the formal document, which I send enclosed to you for your signature.99 If you approve, I should like to inform Mr. MacMurray at once by telegraph that the full powers have been issued, and I beg to request that you inform me by telegraph that you approve and have signed.

Faithfully yours,

Frank B. Kellogg
  1. See telegram No. 230, July 20, to the Minister in China, p. 464.
  2. Telegram No. 567, July 24, 10 p.m., from the Minister in China, not printed (611.9331/69).
  3. See telegram No. 258, Aug. 1, to the Minister in China, p. 486.