893.102S/271: Telegram

The Minister in China ( Johnson ) to the Secretary of State

2. Following from Minister at Nanking:

“December 31, 10 a.m. Following for the Department: Department’s 447, December 27, 4 p.m. I am of the opinion that the rights hitherto claimed by the Municipal Council of the International Settlement in regard to the extra-Settlement roads at Shanghai are based on very slender grounds. The roads run through areas unquestionably subject Chinese jurisdiction, and the argument hitherto advanced that because these roads are the property of the Municipal Government of the International Settlement they may not be policed, or protected by the Chinese authorities, nor may native authorities cover said roads for the purpose of policing areas between and adjoining, and, unquestionably subject to Chinese jurisdiction, shows the absurd length to which the interpretation of the extraterritorial privileges or rights of foreigners and their associations has been carried. My British colleague agrees that the problem in regard to the extra-Settlement roads is tax. I have not offered any views with regard to the settlement of this question because both Chinese and foreign authorities have been awaiting the report of Judge Feetham, who has been employed by the Municipal Council to study these problems. It is expected that Judge Feetham’s report will soon be issued and that it will furnish a basis for the settlement of these questions. The question of the supply of electric light and power along the extra-Settlement roads has already been settled by the sale of the municipal electric light plant to a private American company.”

For the Minister: