711.933/373: Telegram

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

4423. Your 5044, September 8, 12 p.m., extraterritoriality.

We have read with interest the British Foreign Office’s memorandum quoted in your telegram under reference, and are gratified that the views of the British Government so closely parallel those of this Government. We have been working on a draft treaty of the kind described in paragraph 3 of the Department’s 4087, August 27, 2 p.m., which delineates our thought in regard to this aspect of the question, and when the draft is completed we will expect to transmit a copy to the British Government. Please so inform Mr. Ashley Clarke and Mr. Eden.
Please ask Mr. Ashley Clarke informally to be so good as to let us have some elaboration of the British thought in regard to the question raised in the British memorandum of seeking a special status for Shanghai. It is suggested that you say that, as indicated in previous communications from the Department, we have had in mind, in connection with the relinquishment of extraterritoriality and related rights, the complete wiping out of all rights of a special character. [Page 293]We have felt that such action would best serve the collective interests involved, whereas any holdover from the existing anomalies in our relations with China would constitute a further problem and a continuing source of friction. It seems to us doubtful that the Chinese would be agreeable to continuing or creating any special status for Shanghai. However, as indicated in the first sentence of this paragraph, we should be interested in having an elaboration of the British thought on this point.
We assume that the British Government and the Governments of the Dominions which the British Government is consulting concur in our view that it is highly desirable that the fact that the question of extraterritorial jurisdiction in China is under consideration be kept strictly confidential.
Please mark your telegrams to the Department on this subject as strictly confidential for the Secretary and the Under Secretary only.