793.003/935: Telegram

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

5573. For the Acting Secretary of State. Your 4818, October 3, 10 p.m. This evening I received the following communication from Mr. Eden together with a suggested notification to the press for publication in the morning papers on October 10 both of which are annexed below.…

Begin Mr. Eden’s communication.

“His Majesty’s Government have considered the proposals of your Government contained in the enclosures in your letter of October 5th regarding the abrogation of extraterritorial rights and privileges in China.

With the general purport of these proposals I am happy to be able to tell you that His Majesty’s Government are in wholehearted agreement. They would only reserve to themselves the right to propose certain amendments to the treaty, but these would be of a purely drafting nature and would involve no substantative change. His Majesty’s Government would however have to include in their treaty an additional article covering the rendition of the British concessions in Tientsin and Canton.

His Majesty’s Ambassador at Chungking has suggested that we might try to secure, in connection with the treaty, an exchange of notes containing additional assurances concerning the treatment of our [Page 303] nationals after the abolition of extraterritoriality. His Majesty’s Government would hope to discuss this later with the United States Government.

In regard to procedure, I note that your Government contemplates a confidential communication of our intentions to the Chinese Governments We think that there would be great advantage in publicity at this stage. It would seem desirable to proclaim the important decision we have taken, which at this moment will meet with a considerable degree of approval amongst our own peoples. Moreover it may be expected that publicity for our decision would enhance its value in Chinese eyes. While complete secrecy during the period of negotiation of the treaty might be desirable from the point of view of avoiding public controversy we should be very doubtful whether in fact we could rely on the Chinese keeping the matter secret for any considerable period of time.

If these assumptions are correct, there would seem to be every advantage in giving immediate publicity in a form that is acceptable to the two Governments, and, if the United States Government accept this argument, we should attach great importance to concerting a joint declaration to be issued by the two Governments as soon as may be after the decision is communicated to the Chinese Government. The Chinese National Day (October 10) might offer a suitable occasion.

In the hope that the United States Government may agree with these proposals, I enclose a draft of such a declaration for their consideration.”

End Mr. Eden’s communication.

Begin suggested notification to press.

“His Majesty’s Government and the United States Government have declared in public pronouncements that they were prepared at the conclusion of hostilities in the Far East to negotiate with the Chinese Government for the abrogation of the extraterritorial rights and privileges hitherto enjoyed by their respective nationals in China.

In order to emphasize their friendship and solidarity with their Chinese Allies His Majesty’s Government and the United States Government have lately been in consultation regarding the relinquishment of these rights and privileges at the earliest possible date.

In accordance with the understanding reached between the two Governments a communication was made to the Chinese Chargé d’Affaires in London and to the Chinese Ambassador in Washington on the 9th October indicating that the two Governments hoped in the near future to open discussions on the subject with the Chinese Government and to present for their consideration a draft treaty for the immediate relinquishment of the rights and privileges in question”.

End suggested notification to press.