711.9327/1–748: Telegram

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

41. ReEmbtel 2448, December 23, 1947,2 and previous telegrams on subject Chinese desire consult with United States in accordance terms article 11, Bilateral Agreement, there follows translation note dated January 2, 1948, received January 5 from Foreign Office in reply Embassy note November 27 [21]3

“The Minister [Ministry] of Foreign Affairs presents its compliments to the American Embassy and has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Embassy’s third person note No. 1275 of November 21, 1947, stating, in connection with the request of the Chinese Government that, in accordance with the provisions of article 11 of the Sino-American Air Transport Agreement, consultations be held with a view toward making certain revisions in the agreement in regard to traffic operations details, that the US Government must be informed of the specific points on which consultation is desired by the Chinese Government and also the reasons therefor, and adding that the US Government is of the opinion that the date on which consultations were requested should be computed from the date the Embassy receives the desired information.

“The Embassy is informed that the matter was referred by the Ministry to the responsible communications authorities from whom a letter has been received answering the various points as follows:

  • “(1) When the aforementioned agreement was signed on December 20, 1946, it was laid down in (b) of the exchange of notes that airlines designated by the US authorities ‘may not operate inter-regional air business between Hong Kong and any one of the points in Chinese territory mentioned in the annex attached to the agreement’. The original intention of this was that, as special conditions exist between Hong Kong and China, the Chinese Government meant to reserve the transport service on this route to be operated solely by Chinese and British airlines.[Page 776]This intent was clearly explained when negotiations in connection with the agreement were in progress. It appears that the language of provision (b) of the above-mentioned exchange of notes is not clear and its revision is therefore desirable.
  • “(2) The wording of paragraphs 1 and 2 of sections a and b of the annex attached to the agreement, specifying trans-Pacific routes, contains inconsistencies and a revision thereof is also desirable.
  • “(3) As both the agreement and its annex lack detailed, exact, and effective provisions with respect to details of traffic operations, such as the procedure for the establishment of stations in each other’s territory and for approval of transportation rates by both parties, execution of the agreement is most inconvenient. Revision is (therefore) also desirable in this connection in order that full satisfaction may be obtained.

“Apart from the above the Chinese Government expresses its agreement with the opinion of the US Government that, in accordance with article 11 of the agreement, consultation on revisions should commence within 60 days from the date request is made and that a period of 60 days should be computed from the date the Embassy receives the (desired) information.

“The above is communicated to the-Embassy for its attention and appropriate transmittal.”

Comment follows in subsequent telegram.4

Sent Department 41, repeated Shanghai 21.

  1. Ibid., p. 1426.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Infra.