The Counselor of Embassy in China (Smyth) to the Secretary of State
[Received 9:57 a.m.]
411. Settlements and Diplomatic Quarter. We have now received Foreign Office reply dated February 22 to our note of February 5 (Embassy’s 240, February 7,19 repeated Shanghai as 79). After acknowledging receipt of our note, Foreign Office continues as follows (sent Dept 411, repeated Shanghai 151, March 2, 8 a.m.).
“I have the honor to state that in the treaty between the United States of America and the Republic of China for the relinquishment of extraterritorial rights in China and the regulation of related matters, signed at Washington on January 11, 1943, there was an article concerning the diplomatic quarter at Peiping and the International Settlements at Shanghai and Amoy which provided that [‘] the Govt [Page 1356]of the United States of America shall be willing to assist the Govt of the Republic of China to reach the necessary agreement with other interested govts.’ It should be understood that the rendition of the above areas cannot be decided by the Govt of the US alone. The various powers concerned with the Diplomatic Quarter at Peiping and and the International Settlements at Shanghai and Amoy have all agreed to the relinquishment of their extraterritorial rights and to the abolition of concessions and the Diplomatic Quarter. As a matter of fact, the above areas have already been taken over by the Chinese Govt. It will not, of course, be necessary to obtain the concurrence of the govts of the various powers concerned and to conclude agreements with them.
“With regard to the assumption and discharge of the official obligation and liabilities of the diplomatic quarter at Peiping and the international settlements at Shanghai and Amoy, the above-mentioned Sino-American treaty only provides that the Chinese Govt should draw up the necessary measures and there was no such wording as to consult the govts of the various powers concerned. On November 24, 1945 the ‘measures for the rendition of settlements and the Peiping Diplomatic Quarter’, and the ‘organic regulations of liquidation commissions for official assets and official obligations of Settlements and Diplomatic Quarter’ were promulgated by the Executive Yuan. They were enacted on the basis of the above provisions. According to the organic regulations of the above-mentioned liquidation commissions, interested foreigners shall be invited, if necessary, to be present at the meeting to be held by members of the various liquidation commissions in an advisory capacity. Such being the case, the interested persons of the US will have the opportunity to express their opinions. For this reason, it is not considered necessary for the Chinese Govt to consult the Govt of the US and the govts of other powers concerned regarding the assumption and discharge by the Chinese Govt of the official obligations and liabilities of the Diplomatic Quarter at Peiping and the International Settlements at Shanghai and Amoy. Nevertheless, the good will shown by the Govt of the US is very much appreciated. I have, therefore, the honor to state that in future if the Govt of the US were not satisfied with the result of liquidation obtained by the various liquidation commissions, it could, of course, bring up the matter for consultations. The Chinese Govt will certainly give the matter its most favorable consideration in the spirit of respecting the rights of the US and fulfilling China’s treaty obligations.”
Subsequent telegram will contain Embassy’s comments.