893.113 Chance Vought Corp./4

The Secretary of State to the Consul at Nanking (Adams)6

Sir: The Department refers to your telegram of October 5, noon, and the Department’s reply thereto of October 5, 6 p.m.,7 relating to the request of the Mayor of Nanking that you obtain from the Vought Chance [sic] Corporation price quotations for ten two-seated bombing planes.

In amplification of the Department’s telegraphic instruction referred to above, you are informed that the Department commends you for your evident desire to promote the purchase in your district of goods of American manufacture, and that the reason for the Department’s preference that messages of the sort involved in this case be sent by the agent of the American firm direct to his principals is to be found in the circumstance that the goods involved are munitions of war. The Department has announced that it will issue licenses for the exportation of arms and munitions of war from the United States to China upon the fulfillment of certain conditions, the basic one being that the Chinese Government shall communicate through its representative at Washington a request for such exportation,8 but the Department does not desire that the impression be created abroad that this Government is attempting, through its officers, to stimulate the purchase of munitions of war by the Chinese authorities. As you are aware, there is in force a proclamation by the President9 which forbids the exportation of arms and munitions of war to China, subject to such exceptions and limitations as shall be prescribed by the Secretary of State.

The procedure authorized by the Department as stated above constitutes an exception, prescribed under the authority of the proviso. It is as far as the Department is at this time prepared to go. The Department is of the opinion that active participation by its officers in efforts to promote or to effect purchases of arms or munitions of war by the Chinese Government would be inconsistent with the intent of the Proclamation; and the Department desires in no way to be associated with efforts of Chinese Provincial or Municipal authorities, except as these may have the express and properly indicated approval of the National Government, to purchase arms.

I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
Nelson Trusler Johnson
  1. By instruction No. 1380, October 16, the Minister in China was requested to inform American consular officers in China of the contents of this instruction (893.113 Chance Vought Corp./5).
  2. Neither printed.
  3. See telegram No. 313, September 20, to the Minister in China, p. 532.
  4. i.e., of March 4, 1922.