611.9331/262a: Telegram

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

192. 1. Department has been proceeding on the theory that we should be willing and be prepared to enter upon discussions leading up to negotiation of a commercial treaty whenever the Chinese indicated their desire so to proceed. However, the Department does not wish to preclude the initiation of discussions by the American side should it be felt after consultation between the Embassy and the Department that the opportune time for so doing had arrived. Department shares views expressed in your 84, January 13, 10 a.m. and 99, January 15, 2 p.m.3 Interested officers in consultation with other [Page 1009] agencies are now working intensively on draft and hope to send you a copy in the near future for your comments.

2. As you are aware the British Government approached us some months ago on this subject and intimated they felt it desirable to hold off negotiations with the Chinese until conclusion of the war. We told them in October that we hoped soon to have completed draft of treaty which would put us in position to act whenever circumstances might make action appear opportune.

3. In regard to the consular convention mentioned in the final paragraph of Embassy’s 99, January 15, 2 p.m., do you feel that a separate convention on this subject is preferable to inclusion of consular provisions in comprehensive treaty on commerce and navigation?

4. Department is sending you by air mail4 copies of memoranda covering informal exchanges of views with the British which heretofore have not been sent to you. Department hopes to keep you promptly informed of any further developments in relation to this subject.

  1. For telegram No. 99, see p. 1042.
  2. See instruction No. 551, March 8, below.