The Acting Secretary of State to the Minister in China ( Johnson )
105. Department has received despatch No. 1817 dated December 2851 and copies of later despatches from the American Consul General at Tientsin to the Legation regarding proposed tobacco monopoly in Shansi Province. In view of the internal political situation a protest from the Legation to the National Government against this proposed monopoly presumably would be ineffective, but Department believes that desirability of making such a formal protest should receive serious consideration. Either provincial or National monopoly of trade in any article of commerce would violate undertaking given in Article XV of the Treaty of 1844,52 and the Department believes that action to create such monopoly should be opposed. Department invites your comments regarding advisability of proposed protest to the Nanking authorities or other appropriate measure.