493.11/1740: Telegram

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

541. Your 208, June 17, 2 p.m., and my 526, June 14, 1 p.m. American Consul General Tientsin has given me copy of a letter from Raider of the Chinese Engineering and Development Company stating that in April he went to Nanking and visited chief of the Finance Department of the Ministry of Railways for the purpose of obtaining treatment of his claim on the same terms as Ministry of Railways had agreed with British creditors. Raider reports chief of the Finance Department as stating that owing to the American Minister “having requested from the Chinese Government of [sic] all American claims of all citizens and firms that they could do nothing for us in this case. In other words we would have to wait until the Chinese Government had called a convention to discuss each and every claim against the Government.”

Raider requests that we communicate his claim to the Ministry of Railways with the request that it be given treatment similar to that arranged with British creditors.

Apparently Ministry of Railways is refusing to grant terms to American claimants against Chinese railways equal to those granted British on ground that we are seeking general claims convention. [Page 641] Unless Department disapproves I propose to bring the matter to the attention of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and also to the Ministry of Railways with a view to pointing out that there is nothing in our proposal for a claims commission that would estop them from meeting specific claims of American citizens on conditions equal to those granted every nationality.