611.9331/132: Telegram

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

50. Department’s 28, January 22, 5 p.m.

Following has been received from Perkins:

“January 22, 3 p.m. My January 21, midnight. I received this morning from the Minister of Foreign Affairs a sealed letter containing [Page 778] Chinese and English languages of a reply to the Legation’s note of January 12th relating to the tariff treaty. The letter was a copy of the English text reading as follows:

‘Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nanking, January 21, 1929.

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Excellency’s note of January 12, 1929, with reference to the interpretation of article I of the Sino-American treaty regulating tariff relations, signed on July 25, 1928, and to state that, while the meaning of the second paragraph of article I of the said treaty is unmistakable and requires no explanation, it is the view of the National Government that the first paragraph of the said article should be interpreted to include the following principle:

Articles produced or manufactured in the territories of either of the high contracting parties shall not be subject, on their importation into the territories of the other party or on their exportation from its own territories to the territories of the other party, to any duties, internal charges or taxes other or higher than those paid, respectively, on like articles produced or manufactured in and imported from any other country or on like articles produced or manufactured in the country and exported to any other country.

I avail myself, et cetera. (Signed) Cheng Ting T. Wang.’”

[Paraphrase.] I am instructing Mahlon F. Perkins to obtain from the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs a note in the form which Department’s telegram 28, January 22, 5 p.m., prescribed. Inasmuch as Dr. Wang’s note does not appear to respond wholeheartedly to the American request for an assurance that the treaty entitled the United States to nondiscriminatory treatment in all respects, I assume you will wish a reply in such form to be insisted upon. Should the contrary be the case, I suggest direct instruction be sent Perkins so that a loss of time through relaying the message may be avoided.
Repeated to Nanking. [End paraphrase.]