493.11/1698: Telegram

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

116. Your 307, April 5, noon. As previously indicated, the Department, after careful and sympathetic consideration of the difficulties, both internal and external, which now confront the Chinese Government, is not able to see its way clear to acquiesce in a further postponement of American Boxer Indemnity payments. Department does not consider the existing situation as comparable to that which obtained during the World War at the time of the original postponement in 1917 nor to that of last year when China had recently experienced a major natural catastrophe. The powers, including the United States, have already been more than liberal in making adjustments favorable to China in relation to the Boxer indemnities and in relation to other matters connected with China’s finances (in this regard please review pertinent sections, particularly first paragraph, part 2, of Department’s telegram 215 of July 17, 1932, 11 p.m.50). There will probably never be a time when the making of each indemnity payment when due will be altogether convenient to China. Moreover the Department feels that it would not be [Page 670] justified, except under most extraordinary circumstances, in further modifying in effect the Congressional action which stipulated the terms and conditions under which payments of the American share of the Boxer Indemnity are to be remitted to China.