The Secretary of State to the Minister in China (Johnson)
Sir: The Department has received the Legation’s telegram No. 471 of June 19 [20?], 6 p.m. [noon?], repeating a telegram received from the American Minister, then at Nanking, dated June 19, 6 p.m., expressing the Minister’s view that formal negotiations looking toward the settlement of outstanding obligations owed to American citizens by the Chinese Government should be postponed.
The Department believes that the reasons given by the Minister are sufficient to warrant postponing for the time being the opening of formal negotiations. The Department desires, however, that the Legation shall use all discreet means to ascertain plans that may be suggested or formulated having in view the liquidation of the foreign obligations of the Chinese Government, and that reports thereon shall be made by the Legation.
Very truly yours,