Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Castle)

The Chinese Minister came to see me this morning to leave with me the attached memorandum on extraterritoriality.32 He said that [Page 734] it was his own idea, but as it follows most accurately the statement by the Kuo Wen News Agency which we got by cable this morning33 as to what China intended to do, I suppose it is the result of instructions from his Government. The Minister asked me whether I had any comments to make and I said I had not. I reminded him that the conversations at present were informal conversations between him and Dr. Hornbeck. I read the memorandum, however, and let him see that I was disappointed in its tenor. I told him that Dr. Hornbeck would soon be back and that I had no doubt we could shortly inform him as to our reaction to his statement. He pointed out that the situation in so far as China was concerned was, in his opinion, very similar to the Turkish situation when there was an attempt to negotiate the Lausanne Treaty. He said that at the first conference Lord Curzon said it was impossible to give up any privileges and left, that three months later he came back and granted everything Turkey had asked for. The Minister said he thought the whole question was largely psychological and added that the nations which had already given up extraterritoriality had had no trouble in China. I said this was quite contrary to my understanding, that I understood they had had rather serious trouble. His only answer to that was that he thought foreigners had trouble in any country. I said that, although foreigners might get themselves into trouble in any country, I thought they had a right to justice. He said that the Strawn Commission had made various suggestions34 which China had not accepted. I said to that that the Strawn Commission was giving certain friendly advice to China and that, if China had followed out the recommendations, I thought the situation would be very different today.

W. R. C[astle,] Jr.
  1. Infra.
  2. Telegram not printed.
  3. For summary, see telegram No. 412, September 17, 1926, from the Chargé in China, Foreign Relations, 1926, vol. i, p. 979; also see Department of State, Report of the Commission on Extraterritoriality in China, Peking, September 16, 1926 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1926).