The Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hamilton) to Mr. Roger S. Greene 54

My Dear Mr. Greene: Reference is made to your letter of January 31, 1939, which Mr. Hornbeck acknowledged on February 2,55 in regard to certain matters concerning the administration of the American Boxer Indemnity funds by the China Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Culture.

With regard to your inquiry whether there is anything—“some representation” to the American Government—that the China Foundation could do about the action of the Chinese Government in announcing cessation of payments upon obligations secured on the Chinese customs revenues, the view expressed by you to the effect that it would not appear to be worth while for the Foundation to take any initiative at this time along the lines suggested, seems to us to be sound. The general question of payments upon obligations secured on the Chinese customs revenues is one, as you know, which has received and is receiving our close attention.

[Page 818]

With regard to the question you raise in connection with the Tsinghua University Endowment, our attitude is, as it has been in the past in connection with the China Foundation, that in matters relating to the functioning of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation it is not the practice or the desire of the Department of State to intervene except in cases of absolute need therefor. The Department is primarily concerned that the remitted Boxer Indemnity payments be used “for the purpose of further developing the educational and other cultural activities of China”. The Department has also indicated on occasion that it is not disposed to ignore action which in its opinion would be in violation of the constitution of the China Foundation. The questions which you raise in regard to the Tsinghua University Endowment do not appear to us to involve either of the foregoing considerations.

I note that you expect to attend the meeting of the Foundation Trustees in Hong Kong in April. If, before your expected departure, there are other questions that occur to you in regard to which you desire to consult the Department and upon which we might appropriately comment or offer suggestions, we shall be pleased to hear from you.

Sincerely yours,

Maxwell M. Hamilton
  1. Of the Board of Trustees, China Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Culture.
  2. Neither printed.