793.003/785: Telegram

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


Your 101, October 26, 2 p.m., to Nanking.

My 709, October 6, 1 p.m. Since then I have discussed the question of extraterritorial negotiations with Lampson, and we agree that, in the event the present negotiations between the Nanking and Canton delegates resolve the differences which exist between the Nanking and Canton sections of the Kuomintang by presenting to us a unified Chinese Government with a new Foreign Minister, it would be wise for us to go forward with our negotiations with the hope of obtaining a possible agreement by the end of 1931. In the drafts under discussion we feel we have a very good treaty. These drafts we feel represent the best to be expected.
It is our feeling that the signature of agreements along the lines of our drafts before the end of 1931 will forestall precipitate Chinese action at that time under the mandate issued last May.9
In this matter I do not propose taking an initiative without consulting the Department, but I should like the Department to consider whether I should take advantage of an early opportunity to sound out a new Foreign Minister, if one is installed, on the question of the American draft with a view to starting discussions which might end with the signature of an agreement along those lines.
  1. Mandate issued May 4, 1931, not printed; see memorandum by the Minister in China, May 4, p. 837, and telegram of May 5 from the Minister, p. 838.