893.102 S/215

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

No. 1454

Sir: The Department has received from the Legation without covering despatch a copy of a despatch from the American Consul General at Shanghai to the American Minister, under date October 18, 1929,17 dealing with the subjects: “Extra-Settlement Road Problem. Supply of Water and Electricity from the International Settlement”.

The Department has given careful consideration to this despatch, particularly to the appeal made by the Consul General to the Legation that assistance be given in the matter of bringing about a resumption of negotiations in regard to the various subjects enumerated, delay serving, in the opinion of the Consul General, to invite the occurrence of a deplorable incident more disastrous than the incident of May 30, 1925.18

[Page 347]

The Department desires that Mr. Nelson T. Johnson, American Minister, after he has taken up the duties of his post, thoroughly examine into the various problems under discussion and into the practicability of measures which, in his opinion, might be taken with a view to their solution.

Since the interests of citizens of many nationalities are involved in the controversial issues between the municipal administration of the International Settlement and the Chinese authorities, the Department assumes that the consular and diplomatic representatives of other Powers are likewise desirous that early and equitable settlements shall be arrived at. It is not the desire of the Department that the American Legation take a position of leadership or special responsibility in the adjustment of these questions, but, in view of the important American interests concerned, the Department believes that the American Minister would be fully justified in taking discreet steps designed to hasten action by the various diplomatic, consular and municipal authorities concerned. Such steps as he may take with this object in view he should promptly report to the Department.19

I am [etc.]

For the Acting Secretary of State:
Francis White
  1. Not printed.
  2. See Foreign Relations, 1925, vol. i, pp. 647 ff.
  3. Not printed.