The Consul at Foochow (Sokobin) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 6.]
Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of a note which the Consular Body at this port addressed on January 8th to the Defence Commissioner, a local military official, protesting the action of a censor appointed by the Commissioner in detaining for seven hours telegrams despatched by the several consuls on January 7th, 1930, to their respective Legations at Peiping. Among the telegrams detained was one handed by this Consulate to the telegraph office at 10.30 a.m. on January 7th and which the censor detained until 5 p.m. of the same day.
The censor appeared without notice at the office of the telegraph company mentioned, accompanied by a guard, early on the morning of January 7th. The previous evening certain Chinese military effected a coup d’état in Foochow, described in the enclosure of this Consulate’s despatch No. 320 of January 7th, 1930 (File 800),17 subject: Coup d’état in Foochow; the action of the censor was a concomitant of the coup.[Page 638]
The telegram sent by this Consulate was addressed to the American Legation, Peiping; it was in gray code and bore the impression of the Consulate’s date stamp, as follows:
Jan. 10 1930
The telegram form was also signed by myself over the words “American Consul”, in a space provided for signature. The message in fact briefly reported the arrest of several members of the Fukien Provincial Administrative Council, the constituted provincial governing authority.
The note sent by the Senior Consul was drafted by this office; the Department will recognize as a basis thereof the text used in Hyde’s International Law, vol. I, page 799. The Consulate ventures to hope that its action in joining in the protest is approved by the Department.
I have [etc.]
- Not printed.↩