The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in China ( Stuart )
234. While Merchant26 will not become involved in details consultation (urtel 210, Feb. 3) and Dept has confidence ability Emb and Jarvis handle question, may become desirable as situation progresses to have officer Merchant’s position and background in civil aviation policy available when required.
Dept anticipates bringing Shanghai–Hong Kong matter up with Chinese in connection aid discussions.
In view above, may be desirable postpone formal consultation as long as possible. If Emb feels delay may give Chinese time to develop burdensome regulatory practices or other devices to achieve their objective without open breach of agreement, or for any other reasons does not concur in above Dept should be informed. This connection, CCAA Notification #2 of Dec 15 (application to be filed by carriers) should be carefully watched.
Re second para urtel, believe Dept’s previous communications provide Emb with adequate instructions to open negotiations. Only additional instructions which Dept has at this time refer numbered paras 2 and 3 Chinese note (Embtel 41, Jan 7)
No objection by Dept and CAB to revision Chinese routes eliminating reference specific intermediate points outside US.
Best compromise on rate question Dept can now offer is formal or informal understanding if Chinese unable act on a rate within 15-day period rate would then go into effect but US would be willing consult during reasonable period re any Chinese objection. If case appears sound would exert efforts correct situation. Present language section D–6 Annex to remain unchanged.
Dept concurs views urtel 55, Jan 8 concerning visas, etc., but might agree any reasonable arrangement if necessary in light of over-all negotiation situation. Believe inconveniences to US resulting from Chinese regulations far exceed those resulting US laws and regulations [Page 790] and Emb might use this argument get Chinese drop question.
Sent Nanking as 234; rptd Shanghai as 264.
- Livingston T. Merchant, appointed Counselor of Embassy in China, December 15, 1947, en route to Nanking.↩