File No. 135/2–5.
The Acting Secretary of State to Minister Rockhill.
Washington,September 10, 1907.
Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your No. 669, of July 18, 1907, on the subject of the stamping by the Chinese authorities [Page 211] of deeds of conveyance of lands purchased in China, whether by American missionary societies or by an individual unaffiliated missionary of American nationality.
The department joins in the views suggested by the legation in the dispatch under acknowledgment and approves of your letter of June 27, 1907, to Mr. W. B. Seabury, of the Yale Mission at Changsha, Hunan, wherein you say in effect that the legation sees no reason to object to Mr. Seabury’s deeds being stamped by the local authorities with characters indicating that the land is to be held for mission purposes.
The department also notes the view held by the legation that the two characters “kung ch’an” inserted in deeds of mission property will be clearly understood by the Chinese officials as indicating that the land is being held for mission purposes, and that in the event of these characters appearing on mission deeds they may be fairly held to mean “this is mission property.”
I am, etc.,