711.9321/8–2444: Telegram

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

1453. Chinese law does not require that a person arrested shall be held incommunicado for fixed period. Reurdes 747, July 31. I am, therefore, inserting words “without delay” in last sentence paragraph 2, article 8, draft consular convention.

With reference paragraph 2, article 7, of draft, Embassy raises question whether word archives as used in first and last sentences is adequate under usual dictionary definition of the word to cover correspondence. It also queries whether expression that consular correspondence shall be inviolable as used in some treaties does not refer to such correspondence while in transit or in the mails. For some years we have known that Chinese censors have tampered with official correspondence, notwithstanding official denials that there is such [Page 1029]tampering. Department may wish to record [reword?] article 7 to provide that official consular correspondence and quarters where consular business is conducted and all consular archives and correspondence shall at all times be inviolable. Also that no consular officer shall be required to produce official archives or correspondence in any court or to testify as to their contents.

Unless Department desires to make changes in draft, I suggest that Embassy present it to Foreign Office August 31. As Department is informing British Government when draft is presented, may I at same time give copy confidentially to my British colleague?

Gauss