693.116/100: Telegram

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

790. Legation’s 782, October 2, 2 [1] p.m. Following from Consul General at Canton to the Legation and Nanking:

“October 3, 3 p.m. Nanking’s September 30, 9 a.m. Inspector General yesterday informed British Consul General and me that he had received an instruction from Nanking to inform the local authorities that the two Legations had protested again and to urge the local authorities that they endeavor to effect a settlement. He had already written to the Provincial Government and would send a representative to discuss the matter orally today, but he was unable to give any indication of the present attitude of the Provincial authorities.

It is noted that Nanking’s September 30, 9 a.m. contains no mention of our proposal that our oil companies be exempted from conforming to Chinese factory regulations incompatible with treaty rights. I consider such a reservation important as a protection against the possibility of intolerable interference on the part of the Chinese authorities in the organization of foreign refineries.”

The Legation has sent the following instruction to Counselor of Legation at Nanking and has informed Canton:

“October 4, 2 p.m. Canton’s October 3, 3 p.m., second paragraph. In any final revision of the application the Legation believes that there should be included a reservation exempting the oil companies [Page 588] from conforming to any Chinese law or regulation incompatible with treaty rights. You may use your discretion as to the appropriate time to bring this attitude to the attention of the Foreign Office.”

British Legation is sending similar instruction to its representative at Nanking.