893.825/20: Telegram

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

441. Your No. 1006, November 25, 9 p.m. in regard to pilotage at Shanghai.

Unless the Legation perceives some objection the Consul General at Shanghai should, at the meeting scheduled for December 1, be guided by the views of the Department outlined in the next paragraph.
The Department is still of the opinion that the present system of control of the Shanghai pilotage service may not legally be changed without the consent of the interested powers. As it appears, however, that representatives of other powers, particularly the British, more interested in this question than is the American Government, are willing to allow the Chinese authorities to take over the control of the pilotage service without an agreement, the Department does not desire that the Consul General stand out against the representatives of those [Page 596] powers whose interests are much greater than ours. He should state that, while the American Government makes a reservation in regard to the rights of American nationals under the existing system, it will interpose no objection to the proposed changes as long as no attempt is made to impose discriminatory or unreasonable measures. The Consul General should, however, cooperate with the representatives of the other interested powers in attempting to obtain as many safeguards as may be desirable and possible.