The Acting Secretary of State to Mrs. Lucius O. Lee, Secretary, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Boston

Madam: The Department has received a letter dated January 25, 1930, signed by yourself and Mr. Wynn C. Fairfield,64 in regard to claims for losses in China sustained by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.

The Department will expect to be guided by the request contained in your letter that no action be taken toward presenting any claims against China on behalf of the Board without previous consultation with the Board. In this relation, however, it may be added that the Department reserves the right, without consulting the Board, to enter protests against the death or injury of American citizens as well as the destruction of their property at the hands of Chinese, and to include in such protests a reservation of the right to file claims for damages. Your Board will undoubtedly appreciate that these are substantive rights which the Government of the United States can not relinquish in view of the possibility that it may be necessary for it to protect the interests of Americans generally in China at some time by a demand for punitive or exemplary damages.

The Department has transmitted appropriate instructions in the premises to the American Legation at Peiping.65

Very truly yours,

For the Acting Secretary of State:
Stanley K. Hornbeck

Chief, Division of Far Eastern Affairs
  1. Not printed.
  2. See No. 11, February 17, 1930, infra.