493.11/1674: Telegram

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

125. My despatch No. 1621, July 9, 1932,39 regarding Boxer Indemnity payments and previous telegrams and despatches.

I have just received the following letter from Arthur Young:40

“You will shortly receive through the usual channels a note regarding extension for another year of the temporary arrangement now in effect concerning Boxer Indemnity payments. Similar communications are being sent to the British and Italian Governments. Because of the continued effect of the depression in curtailing revenues and Japan’s continuing seizure of loan funds and other revenues the Government is obliged to request this further measure of postponement. Otherwise the budgetary equilibrium attained with so much difficulty last winter would be endangered.

Minister Soong41 wishes you to understand that he appreciates that there is a substantial difference between the position of the American portion of the indemnity and of the British and Italian portions. He feels that it is necessary however that the communications to the three Governments be on substantially the same basis otherwise the other two Governments might misunderstand. Of course the different position is and would be recognized in a practical way by the making of direct payments for the support of the educational and cultural agencies concerned.

While it is regrettable that this postponement must again be asked I see no practicable alternative.”

As soon as I receive formal note I shall telegraph it and inform Department of the reactions of my colleagues.

  1. Not printed.
  2. American adviser to the Chinese Ministry of Finance.
  3. T. V. Soong, Chinese Minister of Finance; also Acting President of the Executive Yuan, National Government.