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

No. 1347

Sir: I have the honor to enclose copy of despatch No. 5370, of December 21, 1927, received from the American Consulate General at Shanghai,34 in which is enclosed copy of a letter dated December 16, 1927, from the President of the American Chamber of Commerce at Shanghai, embodying a resolution passed by the Board of Directors of the Chamber at its meeting on December 16th. A copy of the letter above mentioned is enclosed.34

In my opinion, it would be unwise to arrive at any decision with regard to the question of making collections on other articles, as has been done in the past in the case of import duties on wine and tobacco products, until the specific need for such action has arisen, and Mr. Cunningham’s35 remarks with regard to the dangers that might result from such a practice have my approval.

With regard to the retention of funds now in the hands of the American Consul General at Shanghai, composing lawful import duties on goods imported from the United States of America and collected by him from importers in Shanghai, and the possible payment of such funds to American citizens or firms, as a reimbursement for such amounts as they may now or hereafter be obliged to [Page 496] pay to military or political factions on account of illegal impositions, it is believed that the dangers attendant upon such a course far outweigh any practical advantages to be gained.

A copy of this despatch is being forwarded to the American Consul General in Shanghai for his information, and the Department’ instructions are respectfully requested as to the possibility of acceding to the request of the American Chamber of Commerce ii Shanghai.

I have [etc.]

J. V. A. MacMurray
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Edwin S. Cunningham, consul general at Shanghai.