The American Minister in China (MacMurray) to the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Chinese Nationalist Government (Y. L. Tong)16

My Dear Mr. Tong: Since you called on me last Tuesday to communicate to me in behalf of Dr. C. T. Wang the recent decision of the Nationalist Government with regard to the arrangements for the control of Tsing Hua College, and to ask my approval thereof, I have given considerable thought to the questions arising out of the abolition of the present Board of Directors and the substitution of a Board or Commission to consist of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Education, and the American Minister, as ex officio members, and four educators (two of them to be graduates of Tsing Hua) to be named jointly by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of Education.

As I was frank to acknowledge to you in the course of our conversation on the subject, I cannot for my own part but deplore, as a friend of Tsing Hua, the decision to do away with the non-political Board which, as the result of several years of effort, had been established as recently as last spring for the purpose of interposing an [Page 543] independent directing body between the College and the vicissitudes of administrative changes in the Government.

As, however, the arrangement for the present Board rests entirely upon a governmental order, and involves no definite agreement with the American Government, I assume that the present arrangement may be altered or abolished by a similar governmental act; and while I appreciate your courtesy in consulting me in the matter, I do not feel that it is within my competence as American Minister to approve or disapprove the decision now taken by the Nationalist authorities.

I appreciate also the spirit that prompted the inclusion of the American Minister, ex officio, in the Board which it is now proposed to set up. On careful reflection, however, I cannot but doubt the wisdom of having any American official representation on that Board, and therefore feel unable to accept the directorship offered.

I am [etc.]

J. V. A. MacMurray
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Minister in his despatch No. 1599, August 6; received September 15.