The French Embassy to the Department of State11


By its charter, approved by the Russian Government in 1910, the Russo-Asiatic Bank derives its legal status of successor to the Russo-Chinese Bank.

By the provisions of paragraph one of this charter the Russo-Chinese Bank with which the Banque du Nord combines assumes the new name Russo-Asiatic Bank, the whole of the assets and liabilities of the Russo-Chinese Bank and of the Banque du Nord being considered as transferred to the Russo-Asiatic Bank from the date of the publication of the said charter in the bulletin of laws.

The American Government acknowledged the Russo-Asiatic Bank to possess the status of stockholder of the Chinese Eastern Railway by joining in July and August, 1923, in the action taken by the British, Japanese, and French Governments for the protection of the land department of the railway from threatened seizure by the Chinese authorities of Manchuria.

It was in the capacity of representative of the stockholders of the railway that the general manager of the Russo-Asiatic Bank induced the consuls at Harbin to place their seals on the title deeds of the [Page 486] company. In the joint note sent on August 11 to the Chinese Government by the Ministers of the United States, Great Britain, Japan, and France,13 the same capacity is officially acknowledged as being vested in the general manager of the Russo-Asiatic Bank.

The question at this juncture is not to oppose the conclusion of a Sino-Russian agreement but to bring the Chinese Government, which is responsible to the third parties for the legal status arising from the concession and operation contracts of the Chinese Eastern Railway, to refuse to deal in this matter with the Soviet Government without having made a formal reservation of the rights of the foreign stockholders and creditors of the railway company.

Resolution No. XIII at Washington14 has for its very object the protection of those rights.

  1. Handed to the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs by the Counselor of the French Embassy Apr. 2, 1924.
  2. File translation revised.
  3. See telegram no. 284, Aug. 12, 1923, from the Minister in China, Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. i, p. 779.
  4. Ibid., 1922, vol. i, p. 298; also quoted in American Minister’s note no. 810, May 3, 1924, to the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs, post, p. 487.