793.003/512: Telegram

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

46. Department’s telegram No. 20, January 20, 11 a.m.21

British Chargé d’Affaires informed me yesterday that he had received from his Government information regarding communication made to Foreign Office by American Embassy and had been asked to comment.
In regard to proposal to drop evocation from the draft he said that he did not wish to commit the British Minister, now absent, one way or other but that he believed that the matter should be left to the negotiator to be dropped in the course of negotiations as he felt his way along.
With reference to article 9 he referred the matter to British Consul General at Shanghai and has received the following comment thereon which he is transmitting to London:

“American redraft of article 9 seems to me and the Crown Advocate ambiguously worded. It was originally intended as an exclusion article but now deals partly with excluded areas and partly with jurisdiction in all China. As regards the latter it is redundant to article 1 and article 15.

In particular it does not say clearly whether minor criminal jurisdiction specified in article 1 is or is not surrendered to the Chinese police [Page 724] courts in excluded areas. One is left to infer that it is by implication.

If it is surrendered then I would point out that there are no Chinese police courts in foreign settlements of Shanghai. In greater Shanghai police offenses are dealt with bureaucratically by the chief of police. In the International Settlement minor offenses committed by state [sic] are dealt with by special district court and in the French Concession by the mixed court. It is therefore undesirable to give the Chinese any excuse for claiming the right to establish police courts in foreign area, especially the International Settlement, in order to exercise such minor jurisdiction.

If it is decided to surrender minor criminal jurisdiction in excluded areas I would urge that the above points be covered, but I suggest that it would be simpler merely to exclude the areas specified from the operation of the whole agreement as originally intended.”

With reference to article 13 he is urging that this be retained. If in any negotiations relating to extraterritoriality we concede the Chinese the right to exclude aliens from residence and trade in the interior there would appear to be little chance of our obtaining this right later.
  1. See footnote 15, p. 719.