493.11/1725: Telegram

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

187. Your 396, May 3, 11 a.m.; 430, May 13, 9 a.m., and 489, June 1, 10 a.m.58

While Soong was in Washington he brought up the question of suspension during the current year or payment according to a revised schedule as indicated below of American payments of Boxer Indemnity. He was told that Department’s views remain unchanged [Page 675] and there was suggested to him the desirability of his sending instructions providing for resumption of American payments.
Soong submitted through Arthur Young, informally, a memorandum59 of proposal for revision of whole schedule of remaining indemnity payments which, in general, provides for a continuance of payments on a basis of the schedule in force from 1916 to 1931 until such time as total amount outstanding shall have been paid. Proposal provides, however, for reduced payments to the end of 1934 during which period Ministry of Finance would be prepared, if necessary, to supplement payments by such sums as may be required to make available monthly to China Foundation a total not less than $250,000 Chinese currency or, at option of Ministry of Finance, $62,500 U. S. currency. Memorandum under reference includes statement of intention to propose to British and Italian Governments similarly reduced and correspondingly lengthened schedules of payment covering their respective shares of Boxer Indemnity. Officers of the Department informed Arthur Young orally and informally to the effect that proposed alteration in schedule of payments would probably require action by agencies other than Department but that if after payment of all amounts now in arrears the Chinese Government elected to make to the British, Italian and American Governments simultaneously as far as practicable identic proposals for a general revision of the schedules, the Department would give careful consideration at such time to such proposal.
In connection with last year’s postponement of Boxer Indemnity payments, Department greatly surprised to learn from Soong that during entire period Italian payments were made regularly and in full and that such payments have been a matter of public record.
Department has not discussed any of the above with any other government.
  1. Telegram No. 489 not printed; it reported payment of March installment of Boxer Indemnity.
  2. Not printed.