693.002/850: Telegram

The Consul General at Shanghai (Gauss) to the Secretary of State

253. Reference my telegram No. 214, March 16, 5 p.m., regarding Chinese Customs.

Inspector General of Customs has now sent me translation of a further telegram from the Minister of Finance: (1) authorizing Customs to engage at their discretion when necessary foreigners on a broad international basis and (2) confirming previous instructions that additional Japanese are not to be appointed.
Inspector General states regarding point 1 above that it is incompatible with his position as a servant of the Government to neglect indefinitely to execute the categorical instructions, that enforcement of the instructions will necessarily involve a deadlock between the Inspector General and the Japanese authorities, and that should such deadlock ensue the disruption of the customs service and authority of the Inspectorate must be expected with disastrous results to China’s political and financial interests and to international trade, shipping and finance.
As to point 2 above, Inspector General states he has drawn attention to the fact that before definite measures can be devised in this connection it seems that a reorientation of the whole question is desirable and refers to his letter of November 7th which was sent as enclosure 2 of my despatch No. 1809, November 9 last year. See also my despatch No. 1813, November 15 last.69

Repeated to Chungking and Peiping.

  1. None printed, but see telegram No. 1465, December 7, 1938, 5 p.m., from the Consul General at Shanghai, Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. iii, p. 749.