The Consul at Hanoi (Gibson) to the Secretary of State

No. 58

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Consulate’s telegrams numbers 123 June 5, 12 noon, 133 June 10, 5 p. m., 143 July 1, 3 p. m. and to the Consulate’s despatches numbers 33 June 11 and 36 July 3, 19481 concerning the reestablishment of Chinese Congregations in Indo-China and to report that an agreement concerning the matter was reached in Paris by the French and Chinese Governments on August 19, 1948. Mr. Schuman signed for France and the Chinese Ambassador in Paris, Mr. Tsien Tai, for China.

The four main points of the agreement are as follows:

The name “Congregation” is replaced by the term “Regional Chinese Administrative Group.”
An electoral system for the selection of Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs of Regional Chinese Administrative Groups is established.
All Chinese may unite in every town or province under the common authority of a “President” of “Joined Chinese Administrative Groups” who will administer the entire Chinese community with the help of a Council made up of Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs from each individual group.
Chinese citizens sent to Indo-China by the Chinese Government such as officials of the Bank of China, the Chinese National Railways, et cetera, will be allowed but not required to serve as Presidents, Chiefs or Deputy Chiefs. A list of such persons in Indo-China will be furnished the French authorities from time to time by the Chinese Government.

In order to carry out point (2), the French authorities in Indo-China will draw up a list of candidates for the positions of Chief and Deputy Chief of each Regional Chinese Administrative Group. That is, in Hanoi, there will be a “Group” for the Chinese from Canton province and one for the Chinese from Foukien province. The list, prior to the actual vote by the Chinese community, has to be approved by the Chinese Consul in the district who has the power to delete names that do not meet with his approval. Furthermore, the Chinese Consul may request the French authorities to remove a Chief or Deputy Chief if, after his election, he does not properly fulfill his duties.

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In part (3) above, the President of Joined Chinese Administrative Groups is appointed to his position by the Chiefs of Regional Chinese Administrative Groups. As an example, in Hanoi, there will be a Regional Administrative Group composed of Chinese from Canton province and a Group composed of Chinese from Foukien province. Each Group will have a Chief and Deputy Chief elected according to the procedure outlined in paragraph (2) of the agreement. The two Chiefs will then appoint a President who will be the head of all the Chinese in Hanoi and known as the President of the Joined Chinese Administrative Groups.

Respectfully yours,

William M. Gibson
  1. None printed.