741.933/98: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

3594. Personal for the Secretary. Eden24 spoke to me of the relinquishment of British and American extraterritorial rights in China. [Page 281] He is quite in accord with us that the present is not an opportune time for either of our Governments to take any initiative on the question and shares our feeling that any such action if taken at this time, with the Allied military situation as it is in the Far East, might be misinterpreted in China. He does feel, however, that the advantages of joint consultation between our two Governments in the event that the Chinese themselves raise the question or if conditions so change as to make initiative seem to either Government desirable are of real importance. He believes that parallel British and American action with regard to the relinquishment of extraterritorial rights in China when the time comes will constitute a symbol of unity and cooperation on Far Eastern policy which cannot but prove helpful to both our countries and to China itself. Eden understands from Ashley Clarke’s conversations in Washington and the Department’s memorandum to the British Embassy of May 6 (strictly confidential instruction No. 1437, May 3025) that the Department shares his views. He attaches such a degree of importance to the question that he has asked me to cable you in the foregoing sense. I am in full agreement with him.

  1. Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Instruction not printed.