125.0093/555: Telegram

The Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Secretary of State

1168. Reference my 1156, October 9, 10 a.m. regarding American Consulates in China. Reviewing this matter in the light of the probable early abolition of extraterritoriality,3a I am now of the opinion that if officers are available for early assignment, we should make a further approach to the Chinese Government for permit to establishment [Page 686]of Consulates at Kweilin, Chengtu, Sian and Lanchow and not be content with the arrangement reported in my 1156. With only a brief treaty regulating the subject, there will be numerous important questions arising affecting our nationals and their interests. Few provincial or local officials will be content to deal with such matters and it is not unlikely that in some instances attempts will be made to exploit the situation. Especially as all mail and telegraphic communication in Free China is now very slow and there would be long delay in our nationals communicating with the Embassy it would be well to have consular officers in the important centers prepared to consult with our nationals, to take any necessary local steps and to determine precise facts and report intelligently to the Embassy. In my opinion it would be well for the Chinese Government at the same time to have Commissioners of Foreign Affairs at the same places competent to advise the provincial and local authorities in the name of the National Government and to effect immediate correction of any improper actions.

May I take the matter up with the Foreign Office on the above lines?

  1. For correspondence on this subject, see pp. 268 ff.