741.983/95: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in China (Vincent)

360. [Here follows summary of aide-mémoire of April 25 from the British Embassy, printed on page 276, and note to the British Ambassador, printed supra.]

Upon Ambassador Gauss’ return to Chungking, the Department would appreciate his comments on the question whether advantage would seem to lie in our taking initiative in the matter now or in holding the matter in abeyance in the hope that there may occur some opportune occasion for such initiative. We should also appreciate any other comments which the Ambassador may care to make in regard to any aspect of the problem presented.
I mentioned to Lord Halifax that I had noticed Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s recent articles in the press condemning extraterritoriality and remarked that she fails to give this Government any credit for its progressive and liberal policy in regard to extraterritoriality. As articles by her on such subjects are virtually state papers, it might be well for our representatives at Chungking to impress upon her advisers that we are pledged to the relinquishment of extraterritoriality as rapidly as might be permitted by circumstance and that these pledges have been renewed specifically on recent occasions. The most recent occasion, you will recall, was my exchange of letters of May 26 and 31, 1941, with Quo Tai-chi.22