Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Johnson)

During the course of a conversation with the Chinese Minister today I spoke to him about the difficulties arising from the fact that the Nationalist Government had apparently changed the constitution and regulations governing the Board of Trustees of the China Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Culture who had been named by the President as the Agent of the Chinese Government to receive the 1925 remission of the Boxer indemnity. As a memorandum of what I had to say to him I gave him the attached. Dr. Sze said that he would communicate this to the Minister of Foreign Affairs at Nanking.

N[elson] T. J[ohnson]

Memorandum Handed to the Chinese Minister (Sao-Ke Alfred Sze) by the Assistant Secretary of State (Johnson)

The Department of State has received information from various sources that the Nationalist Government has approved recommendations designed to effect material alterations of the Constitution of the China Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Culture, particularly in the method of filling vacancies on the Board of Trustees. The officers of the American Government have received no official communication from the Nationalist Government regarding these changes. It is necessary to take note of the fact that material alterations in the Constitution of this Board of Trustees will make necessary the consideration of legal questions respecting the authority of the Treasury Department of the United States to continue the payment of that portion of the indemnity the remission of which was authorized in 1925. It is believed that no legal questions will arise if the Constitution of the Board is continued in force and if vacancies are filled in the manner set forth therein.