893.825/21: Telegram

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

1058. Department’s 441, November 28, 2 p.m.

Following from the Consul General at Shanghai:
  • “[(1)] December 5, noon. In order that any misapprehension the Department may have in regard to the importance of American shipping at Shanghai may be corrected, the following statement by nationality of ships piloted during the first 6 months of 1931 is given: British 590, Japanese 393, American 362, out of a total of 1905 vessels.
  • (2) The Japanese Consul General has intimated that he will resist compulsory pilotage as he feels that the safety of the port does not require it. Increased revenue for the pilots now may be obtained by revising present tariff schedules as recommended by official of Chinese Customs after recent investigation.
  • (3) Compulsory pilotage of vessels over 450 feet is intended by British Pilots’ Association, the British harbor master and British shipping through General Chamber of Commerce to be discriminatory against American vessels. I shall probably propose at the consular body meeting on the 8th and the [pilotage?] authority on the 15th that if compulsory pilotage is desirable it should apply to all oceangoing vessels. It will be my hope to make apparent the attempted discrimination.”
Legation agrees with Cunningham that if compulsory pilotage is desirable it should be made applicable to all ocean-going shipping which would include Japanese and British coast-wise vessels. Otherwise discrimination would be against American ships which are largely trans-Pacific liners. Legation is informing Cunningham that Department’s telegram above mentioned would appear to give him ample authority to take the position which he has in mind at the meeting scheduled for December 15th.
For the Minister: