611.9331/147: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Shanghai (Cunningham)

For MacMurray: Your 133, February 23, 4 p.m.,15 paragraph 2. Refer to your 82, February 1, 8 p.m.,15 paragraph 2 and Department’s 30, January 24, 11 a.m.

It was and is the Department’s view that it would be inexpedient to make any official protest against the going into effect of the tariff schedule on February 1, and that we should rest content with making, in advance of the going into effect, the adverse comment upon rates which was outlined in Department’s Number 30. The Department does not believe that it would best serve our purposes, all factors being considered, to send now a note such as is suggested in your 104.16

You may, in conversation with Wang and other Chinese officials, stress the fact that, although it might rightfully have done so, your Government did not choose in this instance, in view of the circumstances, to protest. You may say that it hoped that the Chinese would themselves recognize the impropriety of acting in disregard of the treaty rights, both old and new, of Powers which had shown their good will by the signing of the new treaties. You may say that, although no foreign government apparently has seen fit to raise the issue of legality, nevertheless the Chinese Government’s action in this matter has created a distinctly unfavorable impression.

For your information, the view that this would probably be the case was imparted here unofficially, in conversations, to the Chinese Minister and Dr. Wu,17 before February 1st.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Telegram of February 13, from the Minister in China, p. 787.
  4. Dr. C. C. Wu, Special Representative in the United States of the National Government of China.