611.9331/136: Telegram

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

Following telegram to the Legation, referring to my telegram of January 28, 11 [10] p.m.:

“Following from Perkins: Wang accepts exact wording of the Legation’s note down to and including the phrase ‘articles grown, produced, or manufactured in its territories’. He proposes that the rest of the paragraph read as follows: ‘or imported or exported by its nationals, or its ships, [as compared with?] treatment accorded to any other country or its nationals, or to article[s], the growth, produce, or manufacture of any other country, or to its ships, it being the intention of the contracting parties that in regard to those matters each shall accord to the other and to its nationals and to its articles and ships as favorable treatment as it accords to any other country or to the nationals and articles and ships thereof.’

In support of his proposal Wang has submitted the following:

‘It seems to me that in Mr. MacMurray’s note the principle of nondiscrimination in regard to import and export drawbacks, transit dues and tonnage dues, is stated in two ways, one negative and the other affirmative. First it is said that each contracting party or its nationals or its articles shall not be discriminated against in the above-specified matters. Then it is stated that in regard to those same matters each contracting party, its nationals and its trade shall be accorded the most-favored-nation treatment.

We now propose to insert the word “ships” in the first part, since in matters of tonnage dues it is ships which are entitled to nondiscrimination, and to substitute the words “articles and ships” for the word “trade” in the second part so that the clause will be more explicit and unequivocal. If the word “trade” refers to those matters already specified its use appears to be redundant. If it means something else it is rather too vague and too inclusive. When we say that the trade of one nationality should be accorded the same treatment as the trade of any other nation it would be much better to mention specifically the [Page 783] subjects which are entitled to such treatment. In the present case we believe that it is either the contracting party itself or its nationals or its articles or its ships (in regard to tonnage dues) and nothing else, which can enjoy the benefit of the most-favored-nation treatment.’

My own comment follows in a separate telegram. Repeated to Department.”