893.05/235: Telegram

The Chargé in China (Perkins) to the Secretary of State

47. Legation’s 36, January 11, 1 p.m.

1. Department’s 9, January 9, 1 p.m., was repeated to Nanking for the information and comment of the American delegates.86 Following is pertinent portion of telegram from Bucknell:

“January 14, 4 p.m. Jacobs is in Shanghai for a few days to consult Council, and I venture to submit my own views in regard to instructions above mentioned. I feel that Jacobs would concur if it were possible to consult him.

I agree entirely with the views of the Department except as regards:

Observer in civil cases involving Council, which I do not believe we could expect Chinese to agree to, since such representation in mixed cases has been waived. Under present conditions this would not in any event be insisted upon in view of decision to give up observer; and,
Judicial police. I feel that Council would be adequately protected by having head of judicial police and process servers one of their own appointees through whom all orders of the court must pass before service without, however, insisting upon his countersignature. I understand that Council does not expect such countersignature and desires only a dependable source of information in the court regarding such court orders as are served or executed in the Settlement.

After twenty-three meetings with the Chinese representatives I am convinced that there will be no useful result of the foreign delegates continuing to discuss the points still at issue and would suggest that at the next meeting, which is on Thursday 16th, we should tentatively offer to give up the observer in exchange for other points desired by us and in the event of a failure to reach an agreement that we should without in any way closing the negotiations postpone further meetings, leaving the British Minister informally to continue the discussion of the matter with Wang Chung-hui and C. T. Wang until such time as the two delegations may profitably meet to draft the final agreement which could then be presented to the interested Heads of Legation for [Page 319] their approval. This would in effect result in the British Minister taking over the negotiations in a purely informal way, which he is prepared to do until agreement on the points at issue have been reached at which time the foreign delegates could resume the discussions.

Since this course would involve an indefinite delay I venture to suggest the advisability of my proceeding to Peiping immediately that it becomes evident no agreement can be reached on Thursday, for a full discussion of the matter with you.

It would in this way be possible for you to arrive at a final decision with an entirely clear understanding of the position of the Chinese and of the Municipal Council in regard to the matter.”

2. Legation concurs in Bucknell’s opinion as expressed in paragraph 1 [2?] of his telegram under reference.

3. Following instruction is being sent Bucknell:

“January 15, 3 p.m. Your January 14, midnight [4 p.m.]. For Bucknell:

Your paragraph 3. Joint instruction of interested Heads of Legation, January 10, authorized foreign delegates to give up the observer system in exchange for other points deemed necessary by the Chairman of the Council. With regard to the question of the best course to follow in the event of the Chinese rejecting proposals of the foreign delegates, the Legation cannot see its way to instruct American delegates in anticipation of the Chinese attitude and suggests that the foreign delegates despatch joint telegram reporting results of meeting and submitting such recommendations as they may agree upon.
Your paragraph 4. You should now have received Legation’s January 13, 7 p.m., transmitting Department’s instructions for you to meet Minister Johnson at Shanghai on the 28th. Since I plan to reach Shanghai on the 26th, it may be feasible to have personal consultation by that date, and I do not believe it would be practicable for you to come to Peking in the meantime.”

  1. Telegram in five sections.
  2. Howard Bucknell, Jr., Second Secretary of Legation; and Joseph E. Jacobs, Consul at Shanghai.