The Secretary of State to the Minister in China (Johnson)
373. Your 1241, November 10. 9 a.m. The Department is still of the opinion expressed in paragraph 2 of its No. 356, October 24, 3 p.m., and considers that its willingness to acquiesce in the denial of postal [Page 666] facilities to American publications in appropriate cases removes any real need for the registration of American publications under the regulations. It is believed that registration, even if made on condition that extraterritorial rights will not be infringed would almost certainly lead to vexatious interference with legitimate American publications by the Chinese authorities. The Department is therefore not disposed to approve registration of American publications on the understanding suggested in your telegram.
However, if the Chinese authorities should continue to press the matter, and if it should appear that American publications are or will be seriously prejudiced by a failure to register, the Department would be disposed to consider the withdrawal of its objection to registration on receipt of formal official assurance by the Foreign Office that American publications registered under the regulations will not be subject to any provision of the regulations which in letter or spirit is inconsistent with American treaty rights. The Department prefers however to avoid this action if possible and hopes that you will be able to induce the Chinese authorities to appreciate and accept this Government’s attitude on the question, reiterating our desire to cooperate in a practical manner with the Chinese authorities to prevent improper activities of American publications in China.