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893.156/49: Telegram

The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

PEIPING, October 20, 1931-9 a. m. [Received October 20-5: 10 a. m.]

795. Department's 373, October 9, 4 p. m.

1. With reference to paragraph 2 (a) and (b): Revised regulations officially communicated to Legation by Foreign Office note dated September 21, 1931, in reply to Legation's note of August 20th and forwarded to Department with Legation's despatch No. 1209 of October 7th,70

2. With reference to paragraph 2 (c): British Minister has instructed Consul General at Shanghai in the sense that revised regulations are much more acceptable and that in view of provisions of Sino-British treaty now under discussion by virtue of which the many British owners of riparian property located outside of "reserved areas" will automatically come under Chinese jurisdiction, it would be policy to accept reasonable regulations such as these now appear to be. However, British Consul General was instructed to take note next move of the Chinese authorities. Briefly, British attitude is that if British owners of riparian property are definitely pressed by the Chinese authorities it would be expedient tacitly to accept the regulations.

Attitude of the Japanese and French Legations will be communicated to Department as soon as ascertained.

For the Minister:


893.156/51: Telegram

The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State


PEIPING, November 9, 1931-4 p. m. [Received November 9-6:15 a. m.] 895. Legation's 899 [869], November 4, 11 a. m. Regarding foreshore regulations, Japanese Legation now informs me Japanese Government not in a position to accept revised regulations.

For the Minister:

"Not printed.



The American Minister in China (Johnson) to the Chinese Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs (Wellington Koo)"

No. 376


PEIPING, December 4, 1931.

EXCELLENCY: I have the honor to refer to the Legation's formal note of September 25, 1931, to which no reply has been received, concerning the imposition of certain taxes in Hunan, namely, wharfage dues, a dike surtax, and a production tax.

The Legation has now received a further report from the American Consul General at Hankow, enclosing a copy of a proclamation issued by the Hunan Provincial Government establishing a combined "Production-Consumption Tax" to be levied on "all the principal special commodities imported from other provinces or exported out of this province and on products sold within the limits of this province." A copy of the text of this proclamation together with the regulations promulgated to govern the collection of this tax are enclosed "2 for the information of Your Excellency. A careful examination of these regulations indicates that this new "ProductionConsumption Tax" is a definite tax on goods imported, exported, and sold in the province of Hunan and that other than for its new name it is indistinguishable from likin.

The Legation in its formal note of September 25, 1931, called the Ministry's attention to the solemn undertakings of the National Government with respect to the abolition of likin. It is constrained once again to invite the serious attention of Your Excellency's Ministry to the flagrant violation of these undertakings as represented by the imposition of a tax of this nature. It is, therefore, requested that instructions be issued to the appropriate authorities to effect the immediate abolition of this tax in so far as American trade in the province of Hunan is concerned. The courtesy of an early reply from Your Excellency will be greatly appreciated.

I avail myself [etc.]

For the Minister: MAHLON F. PERKINS Counselor of Legation

Copy transmitted to the Department by the Minister in China in his despatch No. 1299, December 4, 1931; received January 2, 1932.

72 Neither printed.


893.1281/30: Telegram

The Minister in China (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

PEIPING, June 3, 1931-1 p. m. [Received June 3-10:45 a. m.]

309. Department's mail instruction No. 129, June 5, 1930.2 Following from Chefoo:

"May 28, 2 p. m. Reference is made to the Legation's circular instruction No. 41 of July 10, 1930,3 regarding registration of physicians. Foreign physicians now requested by Chinese authorities to apply for licenses to practice medicine. Chinese regulations require that foreign physicians present diplomas and qualification certificates to Consul for examination and that Consul issue identifying certificate to the applicant. There are three American missionary physicians at Chefoo at present and they approve of registration. Respectfully request instructions."

Tientsin municipal government has addressed a communication to the American Consulate General at Tientsin requesting that medical practitioners be instructed to apply for registration and licenses, procedure similar to that described in telegram above quoted to be followed. Gauss states:

"It seems to me that if the early abolition of extraterritoriality is anticipated in the treaty ports or in the interior where there are a number of medical missionaries, it might be well to bring to the attention of all American citizens engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery in China the regulations governing registration and licensing of medical practitioners and the special rules of procedure now adopted for use in the case of foreign physicians and surgeons. Such American citizens might if they desired obtain registration and the issuance of licenses and be saved considerable embarrassment later if Chinese jurisdiction should extend to them under an arrangement for the abolition of extraterritoriality.

I presume that the consular certificate which seems to be required need do no more than certify the presentation to the Consular Officer of certain carefully described diplomas and medical certificates held by the applicant.'

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The Legation agrees with Gauss' first and last sentence quoted above but is inclined to the opinion that, for the reasons indicated herein, the immediate difficulties which may be apprehended in case of general compliance with the regulations on the part of American physicians

1 Continued from Foreign Relations, 1930, vol. п, pp. 538–545.

2 Ibid., p. 541.

8 Not printed.

'Clarence E. Gauss, Consul General at Tientsin.

would be greater than any possible future embarrassment incurred by nonregistrants following the relinquishment of extraterritoriality. Article 20 of the regulations is regarded as particularly objectionable since, as the Department will recall, there have been several instances where trouble has been caused the physicians in China by relatives [of a?] patient who, through no lack of medical skill or attention, died. The most recent incident of the sort was reported in Canton's despatch No. 45, May 18 (political report for April).

It is believed that registration by American physicians would result in even further encroachment by Chinese authorities upon extraterritorial privileges of such individuals in particular and possibly in unfair pressure being brought to bear upon nonregistered physicians. Department's attention is invited to article 301 of the Chinese criminal law (see enclosure No. 1 to Shanghai's despatch No. 5663, September 10, 1928).

English translation contains words "through negligence" whereas Chinese text does not seem necessarily to imply negligence on the part of persons who unintentionally cause bodily harm. Legation is addressing note to Foreign Office requesting precise definition of Chinese term.

For the Minister:

893.1281/30: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in China (Johnson)

WASHINGTON, June 16, 1931-4 p. m.

198. Your 309, June 3, 1 p. m. As stated in the Department's instruction No. 129, of June 5, 1930, the Department considers that American citizens practicing medicine and surgery in China are subject to the jurisdiction of American laws and courts and cannot therefore be required to conform to Chinese regulations which would subject them to control by Chinese authorities.

However, in the absence of laws or regulations of the United States specifically applicable to American practitioners of medicine and surgery in China, it appears desirable to cooperate as fully as possible with the Chinese authorities in efforts to establish reasonable regulations on the subject. The Department therefore considers that American consular officers may properly comply with the request for the issuance of consular certificates describing the diplomas and medical certificates held by applicants and that the Chinese authorities and American citizens concerned should be advised, if and when the ques'Not printed.

tion arises, of this Government's desire to cooperate in the enforcement of the regulations, subject to the understanding that jurisdiction over American citizens in China must be retained by the appropriate American officials.



Memorandum by the American Consul General at Nanking (Peck) of a Conversation With the Chinese Acting Minister of Education (Li Shu-hua)1

[NANKING,] July 10, 1931.

Mr. Peck called on Mr. Li Shu-hua by appointment. He explained to the Minister of Education that he had enjoyed meeting him at the dinner given by the Minister for Foreign Affairs the previous week and wished to make his further acquaintance.

Mr. Peck explained to Mr. Li that during this period when the American Legation had not yet been moved to Nanking, the Department of State had appointed him, Mr. Peck, as a diplomatic officer resident in the Capital and desired that he keep the Department as fully informed as he could in regard to the activities of the Chinese Government and its attitude on various questions. Mr. Peck referred to the interest taken by the American Government in educational affairs in China, and said that this was a subject to which special attention would be given.

Mr. Li referred to the remission of the Boxer Indemnity for educational uses, and to the China Foundation for the Promotion of Education and Culture, etc., as instances in which the American Government had set an example to other nations.


Mr. Peck said that in addition to the interest felt by the American Government, American citizens, as well, felt a great interest in the progress of education in China. The great number of schools established by them in China showed this. Mr. Peck referred to the matter of the registration with the Chinese authorities of educational institutions conducted in China by American organizations and observed that many institutions had so registered. Mr. Li observed that many of these institutions had been founded primarily with the attainment of religious objects in view, which fact, he understood, made it difficult for them to conform with the regulations which required the segregation of religious from secular instruction. Mr. Peck confirmed this, and said that he understood that the Ministry of Education did not object to the giving of religious instruction, provided it were given as some 'Copy transmitted to the Department by the Consul General at Nanking in his despatch No. D-60, July 16; received August 17.

'See Foreign Relations, 1924, vol. 1, pp. 551 ff.

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