893.156/65

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

No. 2065

Sir: In reference to the Department’s telegram No. 34, January 31, 3 [1] p.m., I have the honor to enclose for the Department’s information a copy of my formal note No. 545 of February 2, 1933, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs21 in regard to the regulations promulgated by the Shanghai Municipal Government to govern the use of the foreshore along the Whangpoo River within the Municipality of Shanghai. There is also enclosed a copy of the reply of the Foreign Office dated March 31, 1933,21 in which there is quoted a lengthy communication addressed to the Foreign Office by the Shanghai Municipal Government which again requests that the American Government instruct American riparian owners to pay the fees required under the Foreshore Regulations. The Shanghai Municipal Government contends that the Regulations do not constitute a unilateral modification of existing agreements between China and the Foreign Powers and do not provide for an exercise by the Shanghai Municipal Government of a control now exercised by the Whangpoo Conservancy Commission in respect of harbor and conservancy matters on the Whangpoo River. The Shanghai authorities further state that the Texas Company (American), the Asiatic [Page 600]Petroleum Company (British), and other foreign firms have already, in compliance with the Foreshore Regulations, paid the fees required thereunder.

In view of the fact that both the British and American Governments have instructed their respective nationals not to pay such fees, the Legation has addressed an instruction to Consul General Cunningham under to-day’s date (copy enclosed23) requesting information regarding the accuracy of these statements of the Shanghai authorities and requesting the American Consul General’s comments, with particular regard to the Shanghai Municipality’s claim that its present Foreshore Regulations do not provide for an exercise by the local Shanghai authorities of a control now exercised by the Whangpoo Conservancy Commission under existing agreements between China and the Foreign Powers.

Upon receipt of reply from the Consul General at Shanghai, the Legation will make further report to the Department.

Respectfully yours,

Nelson Trusler Johnson
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