Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs (Hamilton)

During the course of a call Dr. Soong1 and I exchanged a few remarks in regard to the negotiation of the treaty between the United States and China relating to extraterritoriality.1a In this connection Dr. Soong observed that he thought it would be well to begin work on a comprehensive treaty between the two countries, as negotiation of such treaty would require a good deal of time. He observed, further, that we might furnish them copies of a number of our recent standard comprehensive treaties.2 He indicated that there was definite advantage in following the standard form of our modern treaties.


Dr. Soong’s observations, as recorded above, were of a somewhat casual nature. I did not enter into discussion of the subject with him. I do not regard his observations as constituting definite approach to the Department with suggestion that we undertake now discussions with China relating to negotiation of a comprehensive, modern treaty as provided for in Article VII in the treaty on extraterritoriality. I do regard his observations, however, as rather clear indication that we may expect an approach from the Chinese Government in the matter in the reasonably near future.

It is believed that the Department should give prompt consideration to the question of what attitude it is most advisable for this Government to take, both in reference to the substance of any such treaty and to the question of procedure, if and when the Chinese approach the Department.

M[axwell] M. H[amilton]
  1. T. V. Soong, Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  2. See bracketed note, p. 690.
  3. On March 10, the Adviser on Political Relations (Hornbeck) gave Dr. Soong a collection of modern American treaties of commerce; see Mr. Hornbeck’s memorandum of conversation, p. 769.