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

No. 147

Sir: With reference to the Department’s telegram No. 124, of April 8, 4 p.m., authorizing me to address a note to the Minister for Foreign Affairs urging that some practical measure be taken without further delay for the relief of American creditors, I have the honor [Page 591] to enclose a copy of my note No. 57, of April 12, 1930, to Dr. Wang in the matter.

Let me add, with reference to paragraph two of my telegram No. 247, of April 3, 9 p.m., that I have sent my British Colleague a copy of this note.

I have [etc.]

Nelson Trusler Johnson

The American Minister ( Johnson ) to the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs ( C. T. Wang )

No. 57

Excellency: I have the honor to recall to Your Excellency that Mr. MacMurray, my predecessor, in a note No. 680, of October 19, 1928,30 invited the attention of the National Government to the continuing obligation resting on the Chinese authorities to ensure the payment of sums due American creditors and pointed out that Customs collections were the sole source of revenue actually available for the satisfaction of a number of American debts and other liquidated claims then in default. In replying to this communication, Your Excellency, in a note of December 4, 1928,31 stated in part that Customs collections were not the only source from which American loans and other claims might be paid and that the Ministry of Finance would wait until unsecured foreign loans had been given collective consideration and would then stipulate a procedure by which they might be handled individually.

I have the honor to state that considerably more than a year has elapsed since the receipt of the communication above referred to and that so far as I am informed no effective steps have been taken by the National Government in the matter of the payment of defaulted obligations to American creditors. On the other hand it is a matter of common knowledge that the Customs and other national revenues have been pledged by the National Government as security for new loans.

My Government cannot but believe that the Chinese Government realizes the desirability from every point of view of promptly meeting its obligations to the American creditors concerned. I am now instructed by my Government to ask that Your Excellency be so good as to inform me in detail with regard to any plans which may have been decided upon by Your Excellency’s Government and further to [Page 592] urge that Your Excellency’s Government provide without further delay for the prompt safeguarding of the American interests concerned.

I avail myself [etc.]

Nelson Trusler Johnson
  1. See telegram No. 772, October 15, 1928, from the Minister in China, Foreign Relations, 1928, vol. ii, p. 532.
  2. See telegram No. 871, December 12, 1928, from the Minister in China, ibid., p. 536.