611.9331/132: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul at Nanking (Price)


For Perkins: With reference to the Legation’s 50, January 23, 9 p.m., which was repeated to you, the desire of the Department is confirmed and emphasized that the Nanking Government’s reply should quote the text of the American note to it, as given in the Department’s telegram 9, January 7, 6 p.m., paragraph 4, and should state that such is the understanding of the National Government of the purport and intent of the treaty. The United States Government seeks reciprocal, unequivocal and complete assurance that in reference to the matters mentioned in the treaty there shall be no discrimination, and the American note has been phrased comprehensively in order to obviate any possible misunderstanding. In view of the recently signed texts and annexes of treaties by China with several other states, especially Great Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands, [Page 779] it is felt by the Department that the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs should not find any difficulty responding to the American request affirmatively in phraseology identical with that in the American note. Not only does this suggested procedure conform to well-established international practice, but it is believed in the general run of China’s official correspondence there is ample precedent.

Repeat the above to the Legation at Peking.