Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle)

The matter of deserting Chinese seamen and legislation to rectify the situation seems now to be settled.

The British and the Chinese agreed on a joint statement which they issued yesterday (copy attached19). It says in substance that the two Governments have agreed with regard to terms and conditions of employment.

On this basis, the Congress has passed legislation20 permitting deportation of Chinese seamen to India. While the legislation is not wholly satisfactory, it does permit the Department of Justice to deport Chinese seamen—via England if necessary, according to Justice—and they say they will do this.

All hands having agreed, there seems to be nothing further for us to do in the matter and we can consider it closed—unless of course the Chinese continue to desert.

T. V. Soong has indicated he will endeavor to withdraw the Chinese Consul in New York who has not been helpful in the matter.

A[dolf] A. B[erle], Jr.
  1. Supra.
  2. Approved July 13, 1943; 57 Stat. 553.