The American Minister in China (Johnson) to Marshal Ten Hsi-shan of Shansi Province55
Your Excellency: I have the honor to refer to Your Excellency’s telegram of February 18, 1930, in reply to the Legation’s telegram of February 14, 1930, in which assurances were given that the official sale of cigarettes and cigars in Shansi does not operate to prevent the direct sale of foreign goods to merchants. However, the Legation regrets to inform Your Excellency that the Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company (China) Limited, an American firm, reports through the American Consulate General at Tientsin that, due to various restrictions imposed on the tobacco trade by the Bureau of Finance, it has been forced almost completely to suspend business in the province of Shansi.
I am unwilling to believe that it is either Your Excellency’s intention or desire to stop completely the legitimate trade of this American firm in the province of Shansi, particularly as it is to the mutual advantage of Chinese and American merchants to trade freely, as provided for in the treaties concluded between our respective countries. I therefore have the honor to most earnestly urge Your Excellency [Page 298] to issue the necessary instructions to permit this American firm to carry on its business unimpeded by injurious restrictions which are contrary not only to existing treaties but also to the best interests of the friendly and growing commercial relations between the United States and China.56
Counselor of Legation
- Telegram sent in Chinese; copy of translation transmitted to the Department by the Minister in China in his despatch No. 491, September 26, 1930; received November 5.↩
- Marshal Yen’s retirement on November 4, 1930, followed the overthrow of his regime at Peiping. See despatch No. 680, December 18, 1930, from the Minister in China, p. 58.↩