The Minister in China (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 27.]
Sir: I have the honor to enclose copy of Consul General Cunningham’s despatch No. 5716, of October 27, 1928, concerning the registration of American missionary educational institutions with the Nationalist authorities.
In this connection, the Department’s attention is invited to Consul Adam’s despatch to the Legation No. 568, of October 26, 1928,55 regarding the seizure by the Chinese authorities of heroin from an American company, copies of which were sent direct from Hankow to the Department.
It is believed that the two incidents reported in these despatches give a distinct forewarning of the difficulties which, from now on, will be increasingly experienced by American interests in China, both business and missionary. The Nationalist officials of today are more endowed [Page 574]with enthusiasm for asserting authority and control over foreigners than with experience and judgment. Many of them are men who have heretofore been persons of no importance, who are without any real qualifications for the positions they hold, and who, suddenly finding themselves possessed of unexpected power, are inclined to exercise it unadvisedly and with utter indifference to the rights of foreigners, and with entire disregard of economic consequences to China itself. With such a situation, and with the Central Government exercising only a most nominal control of the provinces, the affording of any real protection to American interests by the Legation and by the Consulates is certain to become exceedingly difficult, if not almost impossible.
I have [etc.]