393.1121 Smit, Albert H./30

Memorandum by the Minister in China (Johnson)11

I had a conversation today with Dr. Sellett, United States District Attorney, on the subject of the Smit case. Dr. Sellett stated that Mr. Smit was coming to see him and wanted to return to his station. He said that Smit had stated that everything was settled and he felt quite confident that the Chinese would not collect the fine imposed, and that he would have no trouble in returning.

I told Dr. Sellett I thought we should neither encourage nor discourage him in the matter of returning, that if he wished to return, he should be allowed to do so, but that we should advise him neither one way nor the other. I thought we should give him to understand that the matter was being investigated and if we should need his presence here, we could ask him to return.

Dr. Sellett had in his hand a copy of Mr. Smit’s motorcar license, stating that the authorities had cancelled it. I said that it seemed to me this was a matter about which we should not concern ourselves, that it was quite within the province of the Chinese to issue or refuse to issue a motorcar license without giving cause. Dr. Sellett agreed with me in this.

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department without covering despatch; received May 8, 1930.