893.113 Explosives/8

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in China (Gauss)

No. 1493

Sir: Reference is made to the Legation’s despatch No. 2928 of August 22, 1934, and to previous correspondence, in regard to the importation into China of certain industrial chemicals.

[Page 564]

It is noted that in view of the action of the Chinese Government in choosing to exercise its sovereign right to control the traffic in munitions of war and pursuant thereto, as provided in Item 5 of Rule V of the Rules of Trade of the Sino-American Treaty of 1858, to prohibit, except under certain conditions, the free sale of “saltpeter, sulphur, brimstone and spelter”, the Legation is of the opinion that, in the absence of discrimination against American merchants, such merchants are without valid complaint and that no useful purpose would be served in further discussing the matter with the Chinese Government.

In this connection it may be stated that, although not in position to agree that, due to the aforementioned treaty provision, the American Government is necessarily estopped from registering protest when unreasonable and unwarranted restrictions are placed upon the import into China of the industrial chemicals under reference, the Department is, nevertheless, inclined to agree with the Legation that, so long as there is lacking evidence of discrimination against American interests, no useful purpose would be served in pursuing the matter further with the Chinese Government.

Very truly yours,

William Phillips