693.116/66: Telegram

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

617. Legation’s 610, July 21, 9 a.m. Following from American Consul General at Canton:

“July 20, noon. The registration of American firms with the Chinese authorities in the sense of the Legation’s instruction of October 30, 1930, has never been contemplated, although I have said that I would consider reasonable and nondiscriminatory regulations which would provide for recording with the competent authorities the brands of kerosene put out by American companies.

In the conversation with the Mayor’s secretary, reported in my July 18, 4 p.m., British Consul General and I requested that we be put into touch with the members of the Southwest Political Council concerned in this matter so that we could present our point directly to them. He thought this could not be arranged. I feel that the higher authorities are deliberately keeping aloof, and we have no means of knowing whether our representations have been properly reported. Yesterday and today I asked the Mayor’s secretary when a decision to our representations may be expected, but he was unable to say even if Mayor had laid our views before the Council. It might be helpful if I were authorized to inform Marshal Chen and the [Page 573] Chairman of the Provincial Council that I had been directed by my Minister to seek a personal interview with them in order to discuss this matter. British Consul General is requesting similar authorization. Repeated to Nanking.”

The Legation has authorized Consul General to interview Marshal Chen as suggested. British Legation is doing likewise.