Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The Chinese Ambassador called at his request and presented to me an aide-mémoire, copy of which is hereto attached. It relates to the deportation of Chinese seamen. He elaborated somewhat in oral conversation on the subject matter of this document. I thanked him and said it would be given fullest attention.

C[ordell] H[ull]

The Chinese Ambassador ( Wei ) to the Secretary of State


The Chinese Ambassador begs to refer to the letter from the Acting Secretary of State dated March 10, 1943, which was read by Senator Russell on the floor of the Senate on April 9th, 1943, stating that the proposed amendment to the immigration law, entitled “Deportation of certain aliens” can only work to the benefit of the Chinese Government and people.
As the Chinese Ambassador had occasion to point out both verbally and in writing to the State Department, the Chinese Government cannot accept the view that Chinese citizens may be deported to any country other than that of their origin.
The Chinese Ambassador regrets that this matter has been raised at a time when the Chinese Government has approached the British Government for negotiations regarding the revision of the agreement regulating conditions of work and scale of wages of Chinese seamen employed on British ships. The Chinese Government is anxious that Chinese citizens should contribute to the common efforts of the United Nations and is prepared to undertake means of compulsion towards Chinese citizens not abiding by the terms of agreements when concluded, including even conscription.
Such agreements, however, can only be based on equality of treatment for Chinese citizens.
The legislation now before the Senate would, however, place new disability on Chinese citizens at a time when public opinion in China [Page 803] expects Chinese citizens to be accorded equality of treatment as between Allies.
The Chinese Ambassador requests that the attitude of his Government be made clear to the Chairmen of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and Immigration before final action is taken.