893.05/240: Telegram

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

69. My 68, January 21 [22], 10 a.m. Following from Jacobs and Bucknell:

“January 21, noon. My January 21, 9 a.m. The following are the articles of the agreement upon which agreement was reached yesterday and in which we anticipate no change. Remaining articles and notes contain only minor points of difference and will be [telegraphed?] as soon as finally agreed upon, which we expect will be after this afternoon’s meeting. The following is being sent in advance to avoid congestion in transmission:

Draft agreement relating to the Chinese courts in the International Settlement at Shanghai: [Here follows text of 10 articles, slightly garbled in transmission. For correct text, as signed on February 17, 1930, see page 333.]

Note from foreign delegates to Chinese delegates: [Here follows text as signed February 17, 1930, but addressed to the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs, printed on page 337.]

Note from the Chinese delegates to foreign delegates: [Here follows text as signed February 17, 1930, but addressed by the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs to each of the foreign signatories and omitting repetition of the eight quoted points by the foreign delegates; see page 339.]

Unilateral declaration: [Here follows text addressed to the Chinese delegates; for text as signed February 17, 1930, and addressed to the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs, see page 341.]

Following is our comment:

  • Article 2. Provisions regarding applicability of land regulations and bylaws seem satisfactory provided the Chinese do not attempt to invalidate them by laws enacted after their promulgation.
  • Article 3 was inserted upon insistence of Chinese but we believe our position protected by unilateral declaration.
  • Article 5. While these provisions limit the functions of the procurator and appear to be within the scope of our instructions, the provision in the last sentence, which is definitely insisted upon by the Chinese, can possibly be a source of friction.
  • Article 6. Process servers were offered by British Minister in conversation [Page 324] with Minister of Justice in exchange for other [vital] points and the Chinese insist upon provision for such officers. However, their duties have been so limited that we do not believe them to be objectionable. While the provision regarding judicial police is not as satisfactory as we might wish, it is the utmost the Chinese will accept and then only as a result of the British Minister’s conversation above mentioned.
  • Article 7. This appears to be satisfactory. Chinese however urge that Legations recommend to the Municipal Council that a substantial sum be contributed towards the construction of a new Chinese prison outside the Settlement which is surprising in view of the large contribution already being made in the form of fines under the land regulations and bylaws.
  • Article 8. While we are not pleased with the restriction placed upon Council’s representative in the second paragraph, it presents maximum of Chinese concessions.
  • Article 9 is the only agreement we could reach on this subject.
  • Article 10. Chinese are most insistent upon an almost immediate acceptance of the agreement and inauguration of the new system. We feel however that a reasonable time should be allowed to enable Settlement residents and Council to make necessary adjustments.

Exchange of notes:

  • One. Chinese positively insist upon the exclusion of mixed cases even though we are maintaining Consular representatives.
  • Three. See comment under article 6.
  • Four presents maximum concessions of Chinese regarding judgments of former courts.
  • Eight presents maximum Chinese will accept regarding right [apparent omission] heard mixed cases. In regard to unilateral declaration Chinese refused to refer in the agreement in any way to any limitation upon future laws which necessitates [more serious?] reference therein.

At the last meeting Chinese delegates definitely informed us that the agreement and exchange of ratifications [notes] presented their final position and we therefore await instructions.

All foreign delegates are leaving tomorrow night for Shanghai to present joint views to the British Minister for transmission to Heads of Legation.”

  1. Telegram in twenty-one sections.