The Department of State to the French Embassy
Careful consideration has been given to the note handed to the Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs by the Counselor of the French Embassy, on April 2, 1924, on the subject of the Chinese Eastern Railway and the status of the Russo-Asiatic Bank.
It is the understanding of the United States Government that the institution known as the Russo-Asiatic Bank, as established by the amalgamation of the Russo-Chinese Bank and the Banque du Nord in 1910, was reorganized about 1919. The circumstances attending its reorganization and the legality of its present status in Russian law are not within the cognizance of this Government.
The fact that the United States Government, in the protection of the common interests of the Powers which had assumed responsibilities in connection with the Chinese Eastern Railway, joined in a [Page 489] protest against the aggressive measures of the Chinese authorities in connection with the Land Department of the Railway, does not constitute a recognition on the part of this Government of the legal status of the Russo-Asiatic Bank, although the bank may have benefited by that protest.
The United States Government agrees with the French Government as to the object of Resolution No. XIII of the Washington Conference, and has accordingly, on April 26, 1924, instructed its Minister at Peking to present to the Chinese Government a note pointing out its inability to accept any settlement of the Chinese Eastern Railway question which does not afford adequate protection to foreign creditors and all other interested parties, as contemplated by Resolution No. XIII. In the absence of any showing as to the legal identity of the reorganized Russo-Asiatic Bank with the original bank of the same name, the Government of the United States has not felt that it would be warranted in taking any action expressly on behalf of the Russo-Asiatic Bank.