893.113/1530: Telegram

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

196. Legation’s 167, April 13, 7 p.m. Following formal note under date of April 21 received from Minister for Foreign Affairs:

“I have the honor to refer to my repeated notes informing you that the shipment of munitions of war from abroad into China must be covered by permits formally issued by the Central Government; that the said permits must be submitted to the Chinese diplomatic mission in the country of export for examination and certification prior to the time of shipment; and that no foreign merchant may conclude contracts directly with any local government for the purchase of munitions of war until a permit has been issued by the Central Government. You were requested to take action accordingly.

Recently it has been found that occasionally foreign merchants, in their greed for profits, have secretly concluded contracts for the sale of munitions and that without awaiting the issuance of a permit (huchau) and without submitting a permit to the Chinese diplomatic mission for certification have arbitrarily exported such munitions of war from the country of origin. This not only violates the usual procedure, but also adds to our troubles. I find it urgently necessary to reiterate our intentions as stated above in order to control and prevent malpractices.

I have the honor to request that you take note of the above request, transmit the same to the American Government, and issue instructions to American merchants to the effect that in the future all exportations of munitions to China not made in conformity with the several regulations enumerated above will be prohibited in order that friendly relations may be strengthened.

I have the honor to indite this formal note for your information and guidance and action.”

For the Minister: