The Chargé in China ( Robertson ) to the Secretary of State

9. Due to nondelivery of National Govt Gazette for November 27, Embassy was not aware of regulations transmitted in our 2246 December 30 (“measures for taking over concessions, settlements and Peking Legation quarter”)2 and 2247 of December 30 (“organic regulations of liquidation commissions for official assets and official obligations and liabilities of settlements and concessions and Peking Legation quarter”)2 until informed some time later by British Embassy. There was no publicity in Chinese press.

British Embassy informs us that early in December it telegraphed summary of two regulations to London and was instructed to file a caveat with Chinese Foreign Office. Chargé d’Affaires3 handed an aide-mémoire to Foreign Office,4 stating that Embassy had noticed regulations in Govt Gazette and that, in its opinion, these regulations were not in accord with spirit and terms of Sino-British treaty for relinquishment of extra-territoriality,5 specifically with articles 3 and 4 thereof; and that British therefore wished to file a caveat, reserving their rights under the treaty. Chargé at same time stated orally that British felt that treaty presupposed consultation and cooperation, and they felt matter should be handled in this manner rather than by unilateral Chinese action. (Sent to Dept, repeated to Shanghai as 3.)

Department will recall that in our 1557 [1957], November 106 we reported British views on this general question and requested Dept’s [Page 1351] instructions whether we should take action along lines proposed by British, namely, that we inform Chinese Govt that we were ready, in accordance with articles 2 and 3 of our 1943 treaty,7 to cooperate with Chinese Govt for reaching of any necessary agreements in connection with diplomatic quarter in Peking and International Settlements in Shanghai and Amoy. No reply to that telegram has been received. British Embassy informs us that it has now received reply from Chinese Foreign Office to its note of November 9, on this subject in which Foreign Office states that it has entered into negotiations regarding relinquishment of extra-territorial rights with these countries which have not already relinquished such rights and has set up commissions to attend to rendition of settlements, etc.; and there would therefore appear to be no need for others to do anything in the premises.

British Embassy considers that Chinese Govt has been very “clever” in its handling of this matter; not only have they provided for setting up of liquidation commissions (none has actually been established, so far as known), but in Shanghai the municipal authorities have invited 7 foreigners, 3 Americans, 3 British and 1 French, to serve as advisers to the Municipal Govt; British Embassy states it is considering advisability of instructing these British advisers to inform Municipal Govt that they are acting purely in a private capacity and not as official British representatives. (Comments of Consul General Josselyn8 on this particular question and also larger issues involved are requested; copies of two sets of regulations mentioned above have been mailed to Shanghai, but in case they have not arrived, copies are available at British Consulate General.)

Articles 2 and 3 of our 1943 treaty read in part as follows. “The Govt of the United States of America will cooperate with the Govt of the Republic of China for the reaching of any necessary agreements with other governments concerned for the transfer to the Govt of the Republic of China of the administration and control of the Diplomatic Quarter at Peking, and International Settlements at Shanghai and Amoy.” While this might not be interpreted as mandatory on Chinese Govt to invite cooperation of US and other govts concerned in transfers of areas in question, it would seem to presuppose such cooperation. Department’s instructions as to position we should take would be appreciated.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Geoffrey Wallinger.
  4. Dated December 21, 1945.
  5. Signed at Chungking, January 11, 1943, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. ccv, p. 69.
  6. Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. vii, p. 1380.
  7. Treaty for the relinquishment of extraterritorial rights in China, signed at Washington, January 11, 1943, Department of State Treaty Series No. 984, or 57 Stat. (pt. 2) 767.
  8. Paul R. Josselyn, Consul General at Shanghai.