393.1121 Smit, Albert H./5: Telegram

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

63. Your 131, February 15, 3 p.m.

Department desires that Nanking inform Department by radio what action if any was taken by Meyer.
Department approves your proposed telegram to Nanking Consulate suggesting that Consul act in his judicial capacity.
Department desires that Smit be asked not to pay the fine and to keep out of Tungchow magistrate’s jurisdiction pending settlement and that Consul assist in steps which may be taken to arrange for private settlement in nature of a compassionate grant on Smit’s part with family of deceased.
Department disapproves your proposal for note to Ministry of Foreign Affairs at this stage. Department believes it would be better for the time being to take no cognizance of the action of the Tungchow Magistrate’s Court and, except as indicated above, to take no steps until after your arrival at Nanking, at which time at the earliest possible moment you should take the question up orally with the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the light of developments between now and then.
Department will at once inform Chinese Minister here concerning the facts in the case, will state that it does not recognize right of Chinese court to take jurisdiction, that you will take the matter up with Foreign Minister when you arrive at Nanking, and that this Government hopes this case will not be permitted to lead to the creating of an issue between the two Governments.