611.9331/149: Telegram

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

136. 1. Following telegram from Soong, Minister of Finance, was received yesterday: [Page 789]

“On the occasion of the ratification of the Sino-American tariff treaty in Washington I wish to felicitate Your Excellency for having so ably represented your nation in taking the leadership of recognizing China’s right to tariff autonomy, and in according formal recognition to the Nationalist Government. The wisdom of the step is today evident, what had been misinterpreted by some in the beginning as an empty gesture is now generally admitted to be a bold act of statesmanship which has contributed much to the actual and speedy accomplishment of China’s tariff autonomy and in placing the relations of China with the outside world on a proper basis.”

I replied as follows:

“February 23rd. I cordially appreciate your very courteous telegram on the occasion of the exchange of ratifications of the tariff treaty. Although you are generous enough to attribute the credit to me, I cannot but recall that it was you who perceived the essentials involved, and brought the project into realization. It is gratifying to believe that the conclusion of the treaty has been of assistance to your Government, and I sincerely hope that the attainments of China’s tariff autonomy will contribute to the development of peaceful commercial intercourse and to the prosperity of the Chinese people.”

  1. Telegram in two sections.