893.711/83: Telegram

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

1173. 1. Following from American Consul General at Shanghai:

“October 1 [3?], 5 p.m.

Shanghai Postal Commission[er] has notified various newspapers and periodicals, including American, that if they do not register under Article No. 7 of Chinese law of publication, postal facilities will be withdrawn. Translation of the law of publications is in volume 6 and detailed regulations in volume 9 of Nanking Government’s land office and regulations published by British Chamber of Commerce. Postal Commissioner has in some cases set a time limit of 2 weeks for making application for registration.
Suggest that I be authorized to inform Postal Commission[er] and also Mayor that American authorities cannot consent to registration [Page 662] by American concerns under laws which are contrary to the principle of extraterritoriality set forth in the treaties. Suggest that appropriate representations be made by the Legation also. Despatch follows.”

2. Following reply is being sent to the Consul General:

“October 6, 5 p.m. You are authorized to act in accordance with the suggestion made in paragraph 2 of your October 3, 5 p.m., and you may add that the matter is being taken up by the Legation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that you request no action be taken by the postal authorities which will impair the rights of American citizens in their use of Chinese postal service. Upon receipt of your despatch the question will be taken up with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

3. The Legation will report further to the Department upon receipt of Cunningham’s mail despatch. It is assumed that he has forwarded to the Department the volumes containing the Nanking Government’s laws and regulations published by the British Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai; but if the Department does not have translation of the law of publications Legation will transmit by radio a summary of those sections of the law if enforced against American citizens which would appear to impair treaty provisions.