793.003/937: Telegram

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

5605. For the Acting Secretary. My 5599 of October 8, 1 p.m. I have just received a note from Mr. Eden stating that he agreed with the procedure proposed and sending the text of a notification which the British will make to the press for publication in the morning papers on October 10. He mentions that the British Government has taken note of the arrangements for publication which we suggest and will act in conformity with them. The British are also instructing the censor not to allow any cables on this subject to leave this country even with a release hour until 2 a.m., October 10 and trust we will take similar measures.

The Foreign Office states it would appreciate it if the Department, when telegraphing the text of the draft treaty to our Ambassador at Chungking, could request him at the same time to show the draft to his British colleague.

The following is the suggested notification to the press for publication on October 10:

“His Majesty’s Government have declared in public pronouncement on the 14th January 1939, the 16th July 1940 and the 11th June 1941, 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 right and privileges hitherto enjoyed by their respective nationals in China. Similar pronouncements have been made by the United States Government with whom His Majesty’s Government have been in consultation.

In order to emphasize their friendship and solidarity with their Chinese allies, His Majesty’s Government have now decided to proceed further in this matter at once. Accordingly, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs made a communication to the Chinese Chargé d’Affaires in London on the 9th October indicating that His Majesty’s Government hoped in the near future to open discussion with the Chinese Government and to present for their consideration a draft treaty for the immediate relinquishment of extraterritorial right and privileges in China and for the settlement of questions intimately connected therewith.

His Majesty’s Government have recently been engaged in an exchange of views with the United States Government on this question. They have been pleased to learn that a similar communication was made by the United States Government on the same day to the Chinese Ambassador in Washington and the fact that the two Governments have found it possible to take similar action in this important matter has occasioned lively satisfaction in London.”