File No. No. 763.72112/3617

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

No. 636

Sir: The Department has received your No. 1454 of April 14, 1917, in which with reference to previous correspondence relative to commercial intercourse between American citizens and Germans resident in China, you request instructions as to whether the military cooperation of the United States with France and Great Britain would affect the established American rules concerning enemy domicile, as relating to incidents in China.

[Page 436]

There is now pending before Congress a measure having for its object the prevention of trade directly or indirectly for, with, on behalf of, or on account of any person residing in Germany or residing in a neutral country and doing business with Germany.

As bearing on the general question of intercourse with the enemy, the Department may refer you to Moore’s International Law Digest, volume 7, page 237; reference may be made also to page 424, of the same volume.

The Department may call your particular attention to the following cases: Montgomery v. United States, 15 Wall. 395; Scholefield v. Eichelberger, 7 Pet. 586; Kershaw v. Kelsey, 100 Mass. 561.

The rules enunciated by the courts in the above-cited cases would appear to be applicable, until such time as they might be altered by statutory enactments, to the relations between Americans and Germans in China.

I am [etc.]

Robert Lansing